February 28, 2023

Why Passive Recruitment Is the Key Hidden Gem of Hiring

Passive Recruitment

When we think of recruitment, the first thing that comes to mind is posting on job boards and advertising the job opening. These are usually channels through which people who are actively looking for jobs approach the company. However, there are other means as well!

Passive recruiting is a slightly controversial, yet useful recruiting practice that takes the job opening directly to a person. Let’s delve more into the intricacies of passive candidate recruiting!

What are Passive Candidates?

Passive Candiddates

Passive candidates are the job market’s hidden gems! They are not desperate for a job opportunity and are, most likely, content with their current position. However, once discovered, they can prove to be invaluable with a plethora of skills and experience that can benefit your organization.  

Passive candidates might not be actively looking for a job but they are interested in learning more about better opportunities. Employers that are able to tap into the talent pool of passive candidates, can find some of the most experienced and professional candidates among them!

Passive vs Active Candidates

Let’s first establish the distinction between these two types of applicants. Considering the entire active workforce, about 70% are made up of active candidates, while only 30% is composed of passive candidates!  

These stats make it glaringly obvious that there are comparatively way more active candidates. As an employer, it is important to be aware of the distinctions between passive and active candidates, since it impacts your recruiting process.  

Active candidates are job seekers who are actively looking for job openings. They can be fresh graduates, employed or unemployed people who are searching for a new opportunity. Active candidates are more zealous when it comes to applying for jobs. From frequently updating their LinkedIn profile and resume to vigorously applying for new jobs, they are more passionate about securing a position at a suitable company.  

Active candidates are more likely to apply via job boards and job postings. Therefore, they are easier to find and assess. They are also typically more enthusiastic and responsive when applying for new jobs. However, active candidates are usually applying for multiple jobs concurrently, which contributes to a more competitive recruitment process.


On the other hand, passive candidates might be content at their current place of employment and are not actively job hunting. However, if approached, they are interested in learning about the new opportunity if it offers sufficient benefits and aligns with their career goals. Passive candidates are more cautious when accepting a new offer, since they might already have a pretty good job as a benchmark or won’t have a dire need for a new opportunity.  

Even though it is difficult to engage a passive candidate, they can make a great contribution to the organization. Passive recruits come equipped with professional experience and a wealth of knowledge and can bring a fresh perspective to the workings of the organization. Essentially, both active and passive candidates have their pros and cons.

Passive Recruitment

Passive candidates are not sourced through job boards, rather they are usually found through employee referrals, social media recruitment, proactive sourcing or, via talent pools.  

In case, your company uses Application Tracking System, it is easier to find passive candidates through talent pools. These are often past applicants that reached the final stages in the hiring pipeline and showed potential. Open communication throughout your recruitment process can help build a good relationship with your applicants. Ultimately, it lays a solid groundwork of trust between the company and the passive candidate which increases the chances of the candidate accepting the open position.  

Engaging passive candidates requires effort, therefore a few prerequisites for attracting them can be:

  • Build a good employer brand
  • Create an engaging and detailed job ad
  • Ensure your company has a good social media presence
  • Build an employee referral program
Passive Recruitment

If your organization has a good reputation and is famous for good candidate experience, you have a higher chance of attracting both active and passive candidates. Make sure to keep in touch with your talent pool candidates. You can also source passive candidates through social media such as LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. Consistent communication with potential candidates is key to building a good relationship with them. You don’t even need to pitch your company each time, and merely talk about resources or topics that are suited to their interests.

A good method for approaching passive candidates is to first send an email, along with your job ad, and wait for the candidate to show interest. Once they reply and let you know that they want to know more about the opportunity, then it’s your cue to engage them by providing details about the company, job position, and additional facilities and awards. You can meet them in person or call them to communicate these details. Make sure you give them time to make an informed decision and respect that decision, even if it is not in your favour.

The factors that most influence any applicant’s decision are salary, responsibilities, and facilities. In case, any of these are lacking in comparison to the passive recruit’s current job, it is likely that they will reject the offer.  

Benefits of Passive Recruitment

Benefits of Passive Recruitment

Considering active candidates are way more motivated and enthusiastic about new job openings, it’s fair to wonder why are passive candidates better. The answer is pretty simple. They are more likely to bring relevant skills and professional experience to the company. It’s easier to invest in a passive candidate rather than sift through piles and piles of incoming resumes and applications (...well, not if you have an ATS 😉)  

Not to say that active candidates are not good candidates! In fact, they are more likely to be hired for most job openings. However, for critical positions, it is preferable to look for a more qualified and experienced professional.  


It’s evident that passive candidates are a great investment! They bring a new perspective and an abundance of knowledge to your organization, especially if you’re looking for a new skill set. However, passive recruiting requires more time, effort, and foresight! Let’s think of it this way...passive recruits are a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow! It requires exhaustive searching to locate and secure them, but in the end, it’s definitely worth it!

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Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier

Hirecinch is one of the best applicant tracking system I have used ever, literally my my job easier