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Five ways to attract passive job seekers

Kate Allen, Executive Chair and Marketing Director, Allen Associates

With employment rates at a record high, the talent market is getting tighter. Finding the right candidate for the role is not as easy as it once was, and, if you’re strapped for time, you could be tempted to settle for second best

However, with the right approach, employers can attract the cream of the crop even when they’re happy in their job. According to research from Corporate Responsibility Magazine, 84% of candidates would consider changing jobs if a company with an excellent reputation made an offer.

It seems most professionals are open to new opportunities if they are attractive enough, but all too often, employers go in all guns blazing and scare candidates back into the safety and security of their current company. If you are to tap into this “hidden” talent pool of passive candidates, there are certain key points to consider:

1. Understand their motivation

While the primary driver for an active candidate is to secure employment as soon as possible, a passive candidate won’t just quit to move elsewhere at the drop of a hat. Since they already have stability and a satisfactory salary, a passive candidate’s reasons for moving to a new job might include workplace culture, leadership styles or career progression.

In order to target these candidates with appropriate messaging, you will need to undertake some research into what their company is offering and their overall employer brand. That way, you can promote the unique benefits that only your company can offer them.

2.Stay front of mind

Attracting passive candidates requires a certain degree of patience and a willingness to experiment with digital marketing techniques. Your aim is to stay as visible as possible across multiple channels: luckily for you, social media offers employers the perfect place to showcase their company’s achievements and values.

Using tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter and - dare I say - Facebook, employers can learn more about the motivations of passive candidates and use this information to tailor their content. Of course, it takes time to build a talent pipeline of prospective, passive candidates. However, the more they know about your brand, the better. When the time is right, you’ll (hopefully) come to mind.

3. Use your employees

A job posting from a business leader is easy to ignore. After all, most tend to say the same thing: they’re searching for a passionate [insert title here] to join their dynamic, forward-thinking team. It doesn’t come as a shock to hear a CEO paint a positive picture of the company. Instead, why not have your employees spread the word?

Hearing it straight from the “horse’s mouth” is much more likely to have an impact on a passive candidate than yet another ad about yet another vacancy at yet another innovative company. If a current employee is gushing about the perks of working there, the candidate could bear it in mind the next time they consider a change of scenery.

4. Respect their ranking

Before you reach out to a passive candidate about a vacancy, make sure you understand where they come from and their current position in the career ladder. Perhaps your organisation operates on more of a career “lattice” in which employees can move horizontally - regardless, offering a candidate a role that is below them in corporate stature can be a bit of a kick in the teeth, no matter how you feel about hierarchies.

5. Make an offer they can’t refuse

It goes without saying that an attractive financial package is essential in competing with your passive candidate’s current company. However, there’s a lot more to a powerful offer than a decent salary. As well as this, employers should actively promote the potential for career progression within the business, painting a clear picture of the career ladder and the benefits that come with it.

Passive candidates need persuading, but this doesn’t mean spamming their inbox with a list of positive perks or a picture of the office football table. Instead, focus on the lifestyle benefits and career prospects of your organisation when advertising a role, emphasising the opportunity to further their career as well as the business.

For 20 years, the Allen Associates team has been helping employers in Oxfordshire secure the talent they really need. Can we help you? Click here for more information.