The Art of Landing the Passive Job Seeker

Finding and hiring talent is hard. Finding and hiring passive talent is harder. But in today’s competitive job markets if you aren’t targeting passive talent it is costing you more than you probably realize. Researcher’s from LinkedIn found that only 12% of the talent market is actively seeking work, while the large majority of professionals, 73% to be exact, are not actively seeking jobs. Think about that. Roughly 8 out of 10 people will not respond to your job post. Why would any company want to limit themselves to the 1 or 2 of disgruntled job seekers who are currently unhappy in their career? Does that sound like the best candidate to you? It may be, but you would be fooling yourself to believe it’s a winning strategy.

We work with hundreds of companies across the country- we know what works, we know what doesn’t. We’ve seen it all so to speak. As an Executive Search firm who prides themselves on landing passive talent for our clients- let us offer you some suggestions as you begin to think about your hiring strategies for 2021.

#1- ENGAGE A NICHE RECRUITING FIRM IN YOUR INDUSTRY– A truly niche recruiting firm who has spent years recruiting within your specific industry can be invaluable to your hiring strategy. They will uncover passive job seekers that you want to hire. They will set the stage for the interview process by selling your story, your culture, and your opportunities. They will vet candidates backgrounds and skills. They will give you a true picture of what is driving this candidates interest. All of these things, in turn, make your life as a Hiring Manager easier, and will give you more time to focus on driving profits.

#2- STOP NEEDING A MINIMUM NUMBER OF INTERVIEWS BEFORE MAKING A HIRING DECISION– I can’t stress this enough. Like I mentioned before, we’ve hired thousands of people for our clients throughout the years. I can assure you, the best way to lose a passive job seeker is to make them wait while you try to meet your antiquated interview quota. If you interview a passive job seeker and you think they are perfect for your company- act immediately. Do not let them leave the interview without an understanding that an offer is coming.

#3- ENGAGE YOUR CURRENT STAFF– Happy employees are tremendous ambassadors for your brand. It’s simple and true. Word of mouth or employee referrals are effective, but not only that, they are also free. Learning of a job at your company from a current employee can be an easy way to tap into the passive talent market without spending a dime.

#4- BE OPEN TO GIVING THEM WHAT THEY CURRENTLY DON’T HAVE– A recruiter makes this easy. This is some of the most valuable information a recruiter can provide a Hiring Manager. After all, at the end of the day, this is why the passive job seeker’s ears are open. Understand their pain points. Be creative and provide solutions for them, if possible. If you are not open to meeting the needs of a passive job seeker- you can bet your competitors are. I promise you. They are.

#5- BE IN A HURRY BUT NOT IN A RUSH– If a passive job seeker is brought to your attention or shows interest in a position with your company, act quickly. Be flexible with your interview availability- be open to an evening or weekend and start with a phone call. Do not give them a chance to rethink their decision or worse yet, look at other competitors job opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to completely turn your interview process on its head for a passive candidate. Go through all the steps you do for all of your interviews, but do it with purpose. The longer the downtime in between steps, the less of a chance it ends in a hire.

If you want more passive candidates for your company’s job openings- please reach out to Cornerstone Recruiting today. For a full listing of the industries we serve, please visit our website at

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