In recruitment, our goal is to find the right candidate for each role. While searching, we often classify these candidates as either active or passive. While passive candidates are defined as those not actively looking for a job, I'm asking you to consider if any candidate is truly passive.
When a candidate clicks on the option on LinkedIn to identify themselves as “looking for new opportunities,” they are essentially applying for thousands of jobs without actually submitting an application. They are the “new” active candidate, and we need to change the way we view them and document them in our applicant tracking systems (ATS).
The same applies to databases such as Indeed or CareerBuilder. These candidates have proactively uploaded their resumes to these sites to look for work. Of course, timelines come into play here. The search may no longer be active. But they also haven't removed their resume. These applicants may also be considered the “new” active candidate.
These types of tools certainly make it easier to find candidates because they are presumably more transparent about their availability, but are we finding the right applicants with the right qualifications? Is the “new” active candidate helping to fill the global skills gap that is hindering organizations?
At the end of the day, recruiters should use these tools, but also recognize the need to prioritize what’s best for the organization. Ultimately, this will mean hunting for your best fit candidate by reaching out to passive candidates who show up in your searches. It doesn’t end there. Once you have reached out, you need to keep candidates engaged to keep your organization top of mind.
Artificial intelligence, candidate process automation, and robotic process automation are advancing at a faster rate than many industry experts had predicted and are delivering significant improvements across the recruitment process - from sourcing and engagement through to selection and onboarding. Recruiters should take advantage of the technology available and use it to keep in touch with candidates.
Here are some things you can do to engage candidates and turn “passive” ones into active ones:
- Encourage applicants to join talent communities so you can share regular updates with them. Remember to provide valuable content - not just employer brand-related content. And tailor the materials and updates as much as possible. Pro-tip: It's about providing a hyper-personalized candidate experience.
- Remind candidates to follow the corporate social media accounts. This will mean they have continual access to company information, including what your company stands for, what it does in terms of corporate social responsibility, and what the culture is like.
- Highlight potential career paths in the recruitment marketing materials you share via your talent communities and on social media. Would-be candidates will be able to picture how their careers might progress should they decide to join the company.
Check out WilsonHCG’s 2019 Fortune 500 Employment Brand report to learn more about how the leading companies attract candidates.