We talk a lot at Happie about passive candidates–how to find passive candidates, how to engage passive candidates, and what to do with them once they respond to you. We’ve found that our customers and colleagues are most successful hiring passive candidates when the recruiter or hiring managers shifts their mindset, and stops treating passives like active applicants.

We put together this quick and easy checklist of what to do and more importantly–what not to do–to recruit passive candidates!

Passive Candidate DO’s:

  • DO think of your passive candidate talent pool as a pipeline that needs to be developed and worked over time – not a one-and-done hiring effort.
  • DO reach out to passive candidates who are new in their job. Top performers don’t stick around if it’s not a fit. In fact, 70% of top performing workers will leave a new job in under 12 months.
  • DO think of every single person who responds as a “hot lead”. Pick up the ball and get into a dialog with them immediately.
  • DO recognize that a passive candidate who responds to your outreach is probably not ready to quit their job immediately. They need to be nurtured over time.

Passive Candidate Don’ts:

  • DON’T assume that if the person has responded to your outreach by asking a question, they are applying for a job. Rather, they are beginning an exploration and discovery process about your opportunity.
  • DON’T erect barriers in front of passive candidates, such as assessments, lengthy applications, etc.
  • DON’T hit them with out-of-context questions like “Why do you want to work here?” (they probably don’t know yet if they want to work here, and are just beginning their journey to find out).
  • DON’T think of initial interactions as screening call or interviews. That mindset puts too much pressure on the candidate, who may not have decided yet if they want to interview. Treat this like an ongoing, exploratory conversation in which both sides get to know each other before deciding whether it’s a good fit.
  • DON’T assume that if a passive candidate says they are happy where they are now, that means the door is shut forever.
  • DON’T drop the ball or wait to connect with a passive who shows interest. They will disappear.

Keep these things in mind as you interact with passive candidates and keep the conversation moving forward!

To find out how Happie can help you hire top passive candidates, book a free one on one strategy call with our VP of Client Strategy