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A passive candidate is someone who is not actively looking for a job, but instead leaves themselves open should the right opportunity came along. Recruiting passive candidates demands an entirely different approach compared to the recruiting of actively searching candidates. A mixture of professional salesmanship and the right tactics will entice candidates to follow up on the prospect of a better opportunity, even if they weren’t actively considering such a shift. Following the online flow and presence of candidates reveals one of the best strategies for reaching out to passive candidates – namely through social media channels and like-type networking. Recruiters can learn a great deal about one’s passions, work history, credentials and career achievements of individuals utilizing social networks to great effect. As talent management experts know, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are increasingly great sources to get vital information about such passive candidates. Social media empowers recruitment managers to tweet at passive candidates, connect to them via Facebook Messages, and add them to Google Plus circles for exploring a job opportunity that may reignite one’s career.

Although social media is an active platform to learn more about candidates, the latest generation of employees might not be spending all their time in social media outlets. Recruiters should readily utilize alternate resources of online associations, college placement cells, alumni associations, and industry specific online platforms for reaching out to those candidates who want to be found and leaving indelible impressions about the particular business organization. For instance, a tech-savvy recruiter in need of physiotherapists will find the virtual circles for professional physiotherapist discussion in favor of searching out a brick-and-mortar-based gathering.

Industry specific sites (GitHub, Stack Overflow, BitBucket) as well as Tech-savvy communities (Many circles in Quora, Reddit, etc.) can be used to tap the best quality software engineers in addition to the Tech job mainstays like It is very easy for a well-spoken recruiting manager equipped with forum knowhow to connect with both active and passive careerists. Chalking out an employee referral program is another great way to scour the best talent available locally. Companies adopting effective strategies for passive recruiting will get extremely talented candidates who can melt keyboards and set notebooks ablaze with his/her ideas.

Finding people is only a fraction of the journey, though! Upon contacting a receptive candidate, recruiters should be able to discuss possibilities and opportunities when connecting directly to a candidate in order to find that perfect fit that propels that candidate further along their desired career path.  A great conversation leaves a candidate wanting to join that position today, and seeing their career ambitions promoted tomorrow. While a candidate may be an important cog in the machine of their current employer, recruiters should recognize the individuality of each candidate – if only to fuss out one’s talents, ambitions and predilections.  It’s the difference between “What’s your greatest weakness?” and “What’s your ideal next job?”