Why passive sourcing is crucial to recruiting in today's job market

5 reasons to launch a passive sourcing strategy now

February 16, 2023

Sourcing Passive Candidates - meta

With reduced workforces in the tech sector and many knowledge workers looking for work, now is a perfect time for hiring teams to get in front of qualified talent pools. Even if you’re not immediately hiring, starting the conversations now and building brand equity will lead to easier and faster hiring down the road.

But filtering through job applicants and job boards to find the right talent is a daunting task for any organization. Sourcing passive candidates allows talent teams to take a more targeted, efficient approach. In this blog post, we will explore what passive sourcing is, why sourcing passive candidates is a win for you and for talent, and what is sparking interest among passive candidates now.

What is Passive Sourcing?

Passive sourcing is a strategy used by recruiting and hiring teams to find and reach out to candidates who are not actively looking for new jobs. Passive candidates make up roughly three-quarters of the total talent pool at any given time, and potentially more in high-demand fields and roles. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t to change: 85% of employed people would consider taking another role, under the right circumstances.

In contrast with active job seekers, passive talent may not know about your company or its open positions. In contrast to active candidates, the first job recruiters have with passive candidates is educating them about the company and its open roles.

Passive candidates can be sourced in a number of ways. The most common are social media, employee referrals, professional networks and industry organizations, and sourcing software like Fetcher. But you aren’t limited to just one of these channels! If you haven’t implemented a strategy for passive sourcing previously, you might test out multiple avenues to see which performs the best for your company. First, let’s dive into the major benefits of adding passive talent to your pipeline.

Why Source Passive Candidates?

1. To expand your talent pool.

The most obvious reason for Passive candidate sourcing allows you to tap into a much larger talent pool than just those who are actively seeking employment. As of January 2023, there were still over 10 million job openings in the US and 5.7 million unemployed people. And, 61% of people say they are considering leaving their current jobs this year – but they haven’t yet.

By not relying solely on job seekers, you open up your organization to a wider range of qualified individuals who may not have otherwise applied for your job opening.

2. To reach higher quality candidates.

Passive candidates are typically highly skilled, experienced, and successful in their current roles. They are often satisfied with their current positions but may be open to new opportunities if they align with their career goals. Sourcing passive candidates can lead to a higher quality of candidates because you are targeting those who are already successful and have proven track records in their fields.

Plus, you can target prospects with the precise skillset and experience you (and the hiring manager) are looking for, as opposed to hoping that one of the applicants fulfills the criteria.

Active candidates can still play a part in your hiring strategy, but to succeed with both active and passive, you’ll need two different approaches to your recruiting emails.

3. To diversify your pipeline in an intentional, meaningful way.

If you wait for underrepresented talent to flood your pipeline, you could be waiting a long time. By sourcing passive candidates, you can set diversity benchmarks that are unique to your organization and take steps to expand your talent pool based on those goals. For instance, with Fetcher, you can define your diversity goals for each open role. That means you can ensure your Account Executive candidates are 50% female, or that your pipeline for software engineers includes graduates from coding boot camps in addition to those with traditional degrees.

4. To find candidates that align with your mission and values.

Passive candidates don’t necessarily need to settle for the first job offer that comes their way, and by nature, are more likely to be selective in their job search process. In addition to compensation, they can look for a company that aligns with their values, gives them greater work-life balance, and/or allows them more professional development. Because there are more factors that go into attracting passive candidates, it can seem daunting – but it allows you to identify those who have similar values and can contribute to your company’s culture, leading to better team dynamics and higher retention rates.

5. Recruit faster – and win out over your competition.

For some roles, top-tier passive talent may still be courted by multiple companies, but in many cases, passive candidates may also not be interviewing with anyone else. Especially if you get creative in your sourcing channels and criteria, you may attract talent that your competitors aren’t even aware of! And, sourcing passive candidates mean less time filtering through resumes and applications to narrow down your list for hiring managers.

Recruiters can focus on working with the candidates they already know meet their criteria and get to the interview and offer stages sooner. It’s a better experience for the candidate and cuts down the time-to-hire.

GR0 Aaron Friedman Quote

Quick tips for resonating with passive candidates

When reaching out to passive candidates, you are pitching your company to them, versus active candidates who are trying to sell their experience and background to you. Your story needs to be compelling and your communication needs to be clear. Here are our quick tips to engage right off the bat:

✔️ Be relevant. Potential candidates receive hundreds of emails a day. What is it about your company or open role that speaks to their experience, background, or values? Being relevant means putting yourself in candidates’ shoes and framing your communication in terms of what your company offers them, instead of how they can serve your company.

✔️ Be consistent. Again, passive sourcing takes patience and persistence. You probably didn’t decide to apply to your current role based on one job posting; similarly, prospects will need to be informed and warmed up over time. Personalized, automated email sequences allow recruiters to standardize their outreach, without losing the human touch.

✔️ Be flexible. When it comes time to hire, there’s a tendency to rush candidates through the application and interview stages. These candidates are already working full-time, so don’t write them off if they aren’t immediately ready to jump ship or even schedule a call. The timing might not always be right with passive candidates, but if you’ve built interest and trust, they may come back to you in the future!

✔️ Be enthusiastic. If you’re energized about your organization and its culture, it will be much easier for candidates to get excited about it as well. Much like sales leads, passive prospects need to be converted into active supporters. Your employer brand and candidate experience are both key components to leaving prospects with a positive first impression.

Fetcher specializes in sourcing top passive talent for companies of all sizes. Our sourcing platform delivers you batches of candidates based on your specific criteria, with verified email addresses and links to each candidate’s professional profiles online. It’s all available to you, in one place – giving you more bandwidth to streamline your recruitment processes and create the best possible experience for your entire talent pool.

Check out our other blog posts for more talent acquisition tips and insights into recruiting trends.

About Fetcher

At Fetcher, our mission is to introduce companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruiting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration. Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at fetcher.ai.

blogPost Tag

Recruiting Strategies, Workplace Trends