How to Start Filling Your Talent Pipeline with Passive Candidates

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Posted by Guest Blogger

April 13, 2016

girl_astronaut_yoh_blog.jpgIt seems like every organization is tasked with recruiting passive candidates. But how do you know which candidates are interested in what your recruiters are selling versus who is just window shopping? 

Proactive talent pipelining is on the tip of everyone’s tongue because let's face it, there just aren't enough candidates to go around; especially passive candidates. And, according to Undercover Recruiter, only 15% of employees are satisfied with their current job. 

That leaves the door wide open for hopeful companies like yours to get on the radar of these top quality candidates. As a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider, part of our job is to develop overarching recruitment strategies for our client’s businesses; including developing comprehensive talent acquisition strategies for passive candidates.


What Motivates Passive Candidates

Sometimes getting to the bottom of the most complex problem starts with the simplest starting point. In this case data. LinkedIn conducted a poll with two groups of professionals. One group consisted of employed professionals and the other with individuals who recently switched jobs. Then they asked those who were employed what it would take for them to accept a new job and compared their answers to what actually motivated candidates to change employers. 

While compensation and work-life benefits were high on the motivator list, the reality is greater opportunities for career advancement is tipped the scale as illustrated in the graphic below. 


Additionally, Yoh conducted an internal survey where we asked passive candidates who declined offers why they did so. The top three reasons candidates in our survey were NOT motivated to accept included:

  • Career advancement was not great enough 
  • Compensation was not satisfactory
  • Location was not suitable
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Does it Differ by Generation?

As all talent acquisition professionals have come to know is that people are exponentially more complicated than what meets the eye. Unless candidates are determined to retire from their current companies, they are merely waiting for a trigger to job jump.

Silkroad broke down key motivators of passive candidate by generation. Interestingly enough, even looking across generations there is a similar pattern -- career opportunity and/or advancement topped the list.



Questions to Vet Passive candidates 

The data proves that it’s all about the motivators. Flexible work arrangements, work-life balance, and good benefits are important, but they don't top passive candidates list for reasons to switch employers. Furthermore, they aren't items that you can easily change overnight if your company doesn't readily offer it. 

With the right questions, your recruiters can drive meaningful dialogue around the motivations for making a move. This makes it easier to customize value propositions and more effectively attract and close candidates to your organization.

To start proactively building your talent pipeline, have your recruiters ask these questions to vet passive candidates: 

  • What aspect of this opportunity sparked your interest?
  • What do you love about what you are currently doing?
  • What would you change, if you could?
  • If you had your druthers what would you be doing?
  • What would you need to see in this opportunity to make a change?
  • How will you be evaluating this opportunity?
  • What are the key deciding factors for you to accept an offer?
  • What would prevent you from accepting an offer?

At the most basic level, you can incorporate these key motivators, or triggers, into your value propositions, job postings, email templates, subject lines, and phone conversations. But every candidate is different, so the message must be targeted. Asking the right questions and actively listening to the candidates is how to develop long-term passive candidate pipelines. 

Read More Success Stories

Topics: RPO, Passive Candidates

Strategies to Recruit Passive Candidates  eBook


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