Sourcing and recruiting

How to Build a Successful Sourcing Plan for Passive Candidates

Unlike active candidates, passive candidates aren’t regularly browsing job boards or applying for positions at different companies.  This means that recruiters need to be proactive if they want to bring on the best possible talent for a given role.  

Sourcing passive candidates requires a different approach, so building an effective sourcing plan for passive candidates is essential to success.

Building your employer brand

Your employer brand refers to the experience of working at your company and how the company treats its employees.  It’s important to pay close attention to your employer brand because it plays a crucial role in how your company is perceived by both candidates and current employees.  

Today, top-tier candidates are only interested in working with companies that align well with their own values.  If you don’t give passive candidates a window into that up front, it’s unlikely that they’ll be interested to dig in any deeper.  

So, how do you develop your employer brand?  Here are a couple of key tips to keep in mind:

  • Focus on your messaging
    Every article, email, presentation, or piece of marketing content that your company puts out gives an impression of the organization.  So take a step back and assess what overarching message your company is sending out into the world.

    This is especially important when reaching out to passive candidates directly.  You have to personalize each message and customize your approach to each individual.  That’s how you go above and beyond and get top candidates to consider what you’re offering.

  • Seek feedback & be responsive
    It’s great practice to ask for feedback from prior candidates you’ve hired (and those you haven’t).  It’ll give you a window into how the process was perceived from the outside, help you identify areas to improve, and dial in your messaging to be more effective.

    Building on that, whenever someone interacts with your company it’s important to be responsive.  Don’t let messages hang out there without responding for too long – even on social media.  Prompt replies show that you care about other people’s opinions and inquiries.
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Selecting the right sourcing and engagement software


In the digital age of recruiting, you need an organized and efficient way to manage your candidate sourcing and engagement.  But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right one for your company’s needs?  

It’s important to start your search by reflecting on what you’re trying to achieve with your hiring process.  

A few essential elements that you’ll need to reach passive candidates are contact finding tools, email automation, in-app messaging, and candidate relationship management.  But even better is having a way to source and connect with passive candidates right from the same platform.  

For example, Findem allows you to build a pipeline of external and internal candidates by drawing on all public people data.  You can also define your ideal candidate and get linked to precise matches for your open roles in real-time.  

Ultimately, you’ll need to weigh the options to see what’s best for your current recruiting needs.  The good news is that the best talent acquisition software will have everything you need for passive recruitment in one interface, making it much easier to organize and manage.  

Asking for referrals

Leveraging your existing network – both within your company and outside it – is a great way to connect with passive candidates.  Referrals are a much more personable and effective way to connect with passive candidates because you’re approaching them through a connection with someone that they already know and trust.

In fact, 78% of recruiters find their best candidates through referrals.  That’s why it’s very beneficial over the long term to build out a referral program.  And often all it takes is reaching out to your current employees to post available jobs to their social networks.  Providing an incentive for employees to reach out to their network – whether through additional benefits, gifts, or tickets to an event – is a great way to get the whole company involved.  

The more people you get behind the referral effort, the better the chances of onboarding your next great hire.  


Wrapping Up

Recruiting passive candidates is no small challenge for talent acquisition teams.  Passive candidates aren’t currently on the hunt for a new job, so you’ll need to go above-and-beyond in order to convince them to give your roles an honest look.  

Take the time to develop a bulletproof sourcing plan and you’ll be well on your way to bringing on top-tier passive candidates to fill your open roles.

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