Top 4 Tips to Source Passive Candidates

There are high chances that your perfect job candidates are most often already working somewhere else. Mostly, these candidates are known as passive candidates, having a unique set of challenges for the advanced recruiter. Nevertheless, somebody who is content with their existing job position doesn’t usually apply for the open positions or respond to recruiters.

But going after the passive candidates is worth the extra effort. Indeed, a study reveals that passive candidates are 120% more likely to create a strong impact on your organization. In short, neglecting passive candidates is like losing a wealth of top-notch applicants.

Looking for a more efficient candidate sourcing strategy? Look no further, we have listed for you four effective techniques for sourcing passive candidates!

Leveraging Social Media Platforms

A majority of the recruiters use LinkedIn as a recruiting tool. Yet with the passage of time, it has become overcrowded with recruiters and turned to be more difficult to source passive candidates. To tell the truth, being overcrowded on LinkedIn is the key reason that 52% of hiring managers affirm that passive candidate recruiting turned out to be less effective. Therefore, it’s time to broaden your social recruiting strategy.


  • Twitter: Make most of Twitter’s advanced search functionality to search for profiles that utilize keywords and hashtags relevant to the industry. After that, filter your search based on area and other critical factors. Such as you are hiring for a healthcare position, so you go through Twitter for particular healthcare-related keywords within your organization’s location. This search will take you to a healthcare representative who regularly shares branded content from their existing employer on Twitter. This shows they are an active employee and can be a potential candidate.
  • Facebook: It can be a good start to make most of Facebook’s targeted search functionalities look for quality passive candidates. Think of it as sending an interactive message through Facebook instead of LinkedIn. Candidates don’t usually get Facebook messages from the recruiters, so it is more likely that they will respond to it.
  • Newer Platforms: You must have been familiar with social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Still, you may not have taken into consideration including them in your recruiting strategy. But recruiters can take advantage of these platforms in specific ways to attract passive candidates. For instance, you can develop a paid Snapchat or Instagram story that advertises your company culture. This gets the attention of a passive candidate.

Don’t forget, if you are doing something for the first time it doesn’t mean that it won’t pay off. Therefore, if you are experiencing less success with your LinkedIn interaction, broaden your social strategy by including new platforms.

Invest in Automation Tools

Just like every aspect of advanced recruiting, innovative technology has modified candidate sourcing as well. Nowadays, recruiters can utilize AI (artificial intelligence) integrated applicant tracking systems to discover passive candidates much faster and more effectively than they are able to do manually. Recent researches reveal that algorithms are able to foretell the success of hires better than the decision of hiring managers.

AI technology moves through the web pages to gather and evaluate a vast range of candidate databases. It evaluates from resume details to social network activities. Depending on this data, the tools with AI technology are able to predict which passive candidates will be willing to switch jobs, thus it gets easier for the recruiters to rank those candidates.

On the other hand, manual candidate sourcing is not outdated at all, since effective recruiting needs a human element that no technology can replace. Yet, utilizing AI together with your manual sourcing strategies takes minimum effort and most of the time offers huge rewards.

Develop a Referral Program to Attract Passive Candidates

Most of the time the best source of new talent for a recruiter are the current employees. It has been quite a long since referrals have been playing a major part in recruiting strategies, and for good reason. As 78% of recruiters say that they come across their best candidates via referrals.

Each of your employees has its own peer groups, networks, and personal contacts. Most often, these networks may include a large number of high-quality candidates who can be the right fit for open positions within your organization. Although passive candidates can be reluctant to respond to an interaction from a recruiter, they are much more likely to take into consideration an opportunity offered to them by personal contact.

Referral programs are not only useful in finding more passive candidates. But they bring higher-quality candidates as compared to other sourcing techniques. Some recent studies have disclosed that referred employees tend to perform up to 15% better than non-referred ones.

Search Job Boards and Candidate Database Services

For the purpose of finding and applying to open positions, active candidates utilize online job boards. Did you have any idea that these job boards can also be an outstanding tool for recruiters to source passive candidates?

During their search, candidates mostly upload their resumes to the job boards, and those resumes stay in the job boards’ database even after the candidates have accepted a job. Recruiters can look into recruiting databases for many criteria such as industry, experience, qualifications, skills, and education level.

Therefore, if you come across an old resume, don’t automatically discard the candidate. Rather, have a look at the course of their career. If the candidate appears as he or she may turn out to be a good fit for a role, don’t be unwilling to interact.


It’s easier for recruiters to source active candidates. Yet the truth is, the perfect candidate will not be just walking through the door, ready to be hired. It can be challenging to source passive candidates. But it is a necessary strategy in the current competitive, fast-growing hiring landscape.

It is good to know that passive candidate sourcing isn’t as difficult as it appears to be. To tell the truth, 85% of employed individuals are ready to switch jobs! Implement the techniques highlighted above, and you will quickly interact with a great number of passive candidates. Some might make a huge impact on your organization for the years to come.

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