Best Practices Guide to Recruiting Passive Candidates

Passive Candidates

Considering that 66% of millennials rate life outside of work as more important than their career, chances are that the candidates you are looking for aren’t spending much time looking for you. For this reason, among many others, passive candidates are becoming the new purple squirrel. Some of the best talent around may be just satisfied enough to stay where they are.

Don’t Waste Time on Cold Calls

Believe it or not, sending a direct message through a social platform (yes, even the professional ones) is about as effective and efficient as a good old fashioned cold call. It is certainly possible to find some great hires via direct messaging, and even generate a few referrals. However, consider how much time are you spending to fill one open position; with all the non-interested and unqualified candidates, forget about sourcing enough talent to staff an entire office. If the goal is to find the hidden gems in a sea of passive candidates, your recruitment strategy will need to incorporate the latest in talent acquisition technology and trends.

Some popular social platforms even charge recruiters to send messages to potential candidates. If you have enough open jobs to fill, that could get quite expensive. The big pink elephant that most talent acquisition teams don’t want to admit is that sending unsolicited messages to candidates is SPAM, even via LinkedIn. Sending those unsolicited messages doesn’t give off a very good impression of your organization.

There are several assumptions that go into contacting a passive candidate on social channels, the least of which is whether the candidate profile is accurate and current. That’s not to say there is no fruit on that tree, but it isn’t the low hanging fruit and it takes a lot of time and effort to reach it.

Source More Passive Candidates with Employee Referrals

One great way to reach a broader audience of passive candidates is through an employee referral program (ERP). Just think about it. Word of mouth marketing and advertising has long been touted the most effective at providing great return on investment. Everyone loves customer referrals, and some companies even incentivize clients to refer new business. The same rules should apply to employee referral programs. Even though 84% of employer’s rate employee referrals as the best source for return on new hire investment, only 8% of organizations feel they have the right program in place to reach these candidates.

By utilizing employee referrals, you are turning what would have been a hit-or-miss cold call into a warm transfer. You are no longer sending spam to candidates you are trying to recruit, and you have the endorsement of your current team. In addition, employee referrals help to pre-screen candidates for cultural fit, which is something even the most experienced talent acquisition teams could take 1-2 interviews to uncover.

Seeing that 52% of millennials consider corporate loyalty to be overrated, an employee referral might be the catalyst needed to take your passive candidate sourcing and talent acquisition strategies to the next level.

New Talent Acquisition Technology

Technology is great, however there are some major concerns with how employee referral programs are being developed and implemented. Misapplication of technology has attempted to replace human connections with a computer-based algorithm, resulting in underperforming ERPs. The current state of technology in the recruitment marketplace has focused on the ability of tech and social media to source, match, and present candidates for hire. The reality is that a computer match is not a referral, but merely a set of matching keywords and for this reason does not provide the results expected of a referred employee. Automation is not the same as a referral and as such has not solved the problem of reaching passive talent.

Talent acquisition efforts at a local level have made great strides by incorporating internet job boards and social media into candidate sourcing strategies, but these techniques alone are not enough to create the groundswell of support among employees that would be required to make an automated process a reliable source of organic employee referrals. The most effective ERPs include ways to share jobs via social media and distribute to networks of connections, but they also include functions like referral bonus tracking, employee notifications, employee engagement reporting, ATS integration and more. These are the types of force multipliers that are difficult to develop at a local level and are often beyond the reach of HR teams.

At Lingo, we believe in the power of referrals. That’s why we took our best in class referral marketing platform and re-invented employee referrals for the digital generation. With Lingo, employers can load jobs (one at a time or in bulk) and current employees are automatically notified of the new job openings via the Lingo mobile app. Employees can then elect which jobs to share, which channels to share them on (text message, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and email), and which of their friends are best suited for the role. Employees can even elect to share the job opening on their social profile wall, and endorse applicants as they see fit. By taking the keyword matching and automation out of the process, you can empower your staff to recruit the most qualified candidates they know, even the most passive contenders.

Click here to learn more about recruiting passive candidates with employee referrals and how Lingo Careers enables teams to increase talent acquisition efficiency.


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