The days when recruiters could sit and wait for candidates to apply are gone. 70% of the workforce is not looking for another job right now, yet many would jump ship if given the right offer. Instead, you need to reach out and proactively look for these valuable passive candidates.

The perfect candidate for your role probably doesn’t need a new job. But they might be open to an offer that is better than what they are getting from their current employer. So, how do you attract these candidates?

Employee Referrals

Having an employee referral program is number one. Work with hiring managers to get a list of employee referrals. This will help recruiters build a talent pool of people who are already a good culture fit to reach out to. Employee referrals consistently have a high ROI, with 82% of employers considering it to have the best ROI of all hiring methods. Employee referrals also reduce time to hire and increase the quality of applicants. On top of that, you can be sure that a referred candidate will be a good match for your company culture.

Managing Qualified Candidates You Did Not Select

When you have an open position, you will inevitably turn down some highly qualified candidates. While some of the candidates you didn’t select are poor fits, others may just not be quite as good as the competition.

Too many hiring managers send these candidates a generic form letter (or worse, nothing at all) and then leave it be. Six months later when you have a similar role open, those candidates are unlikely to apply again.

Instead, list out the candidates that were “near misses” and send them nice, polite, personal notes. You don’t necessarily have to tell them why they didn’t get the job. Then keep engaging those candidates. Keep them on your mailing list. Proactively reach out when you have another position.

Improve Your Social Media

Work with your client on employer branding. Getting good passive candidates is an intricate dance, with a combination of good benefits, good employer reputation, salary, culture, and reaching out at the right time on the right day. Encourage your clients to place well-targeted ads on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to showcase their open positions and talk about their company culture. Instagram “Stories” can be particularly valuable, especially if you are trying to find younger candidates.

You can even use retargeting ads, which keeps your brand top-of-mind, although you should not overdo it, as it can also become distracting and annoying. Make sure you are not over-selling your clients.

Make the Application Process Easy

Remember, these people don’t need a new job. You are trying to convince them that they want a new job, with your company. Making people jump through extra hoops makes them have second thoughts about leaving their current company. You have to be way ahead of the game when it comes to snagging a candidate from their current role.

Make sure that your career site is mobile-friendly. Avoid extra steps such as “Please upload your resume, now answer all of these questions that should be answered on your resume” or making people create accounts. Avoid personality quizzes. You might add these things later in the hiring process, but definitely steer clear of them in the future.

Keep the lines of communication open and make sure there’s a way for prospects to directly contact the hiring manager or recruiter.

Emphasize Your Culture and Growth Potential

Finally, make sure that in all communications with potential candidates you emphasize what makes your company unique, showing both the company’s potential for growth and the candidate’s career progressing and growth there. Paint a picture for the candidate of what their life could look like if they switch to your company or your client’s company. Many people feel that they have to change jobs to advance; by emphasizing the potential for growth you can attract those candidates, but more importantly, keep them longer.

Millennials also place a high value on cultural fit when choosing an employer. Be honest about the kind of culture and work environment you are building in your company and what kind of candidates fit the bill. This helps you attract not just high-quality candidates, but ones that will work with you on your goals.

Attracting passive candidates is not easy, almost by definition. Loxo can help. Our professional recruiters know how to locate and attract valuable passive candidates and can help your company find the talent you need to grow in this competitive market.