How to Attract Passive Candidates (Webinar with Core Matters)

What is Passive Recruiting?

Passive recruiting refers to the candidates who aren’t actively pursuing a new job, but could be the perfect fit for your team. They may still consider applying for the right opportunity even if they are not currently looking.

For instance, let’s say Ben, a retail manager, gets a message on LinkedIn from a recruiter inviting him to apply for a similar job at another retail store. The recruiter shares details about the position, culture, and employee development opportunities. After a Google search of the company returns stellar reviews and employee testimonials, Ben eagerly applies. This is an example of passive recruiting. 

Passive recruiting can be an excellent way to find the right people and fill open roles as they come up. CareerPlug partnered with Ryan Englin, CEO and Founder of Core Matters to share insight and strategies that you should consider for attracting passive job seekers.

In this webinar, Englin shares advice that covers:

  • How to attract and find quality job seekers
  • What businesses can do to create their brand story
  • Steps to recruiting passive candidates
  • Key hiring process tips

Here are some key highlights from the webinar:

Finding the right job seekers

Englin notes: “It’s no secret right now that hiring is becoming very challenging. In fact, there are some people that say it’s the number one issue affecting small business in America today, and I can’t say I disagree with that.”

It’s important to remember that quality hires typically aren’t made through job boards. While 82% of applicants are still found through this source, only a small fraction will ultimately be the talent you’re looking for. 

When identifying your ideal candidate, Englin makes a strong case for millennials. This generation makes up one out of every two people in the workforce today and have proven to be some of the hardest workers!

Plus, 93% of millennials prioritize skill training and development in the workplace as well as emphasize core values, culture, and work flexibility over money. Englin suggests, “Millennials are willing to take a pay cut to work for a place where the purpose, values, and mission align with their own.”

What does a job seekers’ journey look like?

In the next 12 months, 80 million people in the United States alone are expected to switch jobs. Englin emphasizes: “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers […] If people are leaving people, a culture, or an environment, why is it as employers we continue to post job ads that speak to the work we do and not the environment in which we work?”

The search for a new role is stressful enough, so understanding what job seekers are going through is key. Determine what you need to do to get in front of them before your competition does.

Job seekers value transparency. Share details about the management team or leadership style in job descriptions and create a compelling careers page that tells the story of your business.

Creating your brand story

Creating your brand story is one of the most vital steps in building a strategy to attract the right people. Englin notes, “The way you message your open opportunities to the job market is important.”

When creating the story you want to tell about your business, consider including the following:

  • Define your core values. At CareerPlug, our core values guide us in everything we do. If you haven’t done so already, start with aligning your purpose and values. Englin suggests, “If you don’t know what your core values are in your organization, if you don’t know why your company exists, if you don’t know where you’re going, start there. People are attracted to leaders with a vision.”
  • Take on the job seekers’ perspective. Google your company. Look at your reviews. How do they look? What do candidates see when they go to apply?
  • Ask employees to provide testimonials. Have your team write or record employee testimonials to showcase your employer brand. Share them on social media. Include them with your job posting! Show job seekers who you are through this outstanding form of social proof.

Your brand story can help you make the right hires the first time, boosting retention and saving on turnover costs in the long run. Englin says, “If you don’t think turnover is costing you money right now, I want you to think again. I challenge you to think again because turnover is expensive, not just in money but in time, in lost customers.”

Create a great candidate experience to hire better

It’s no secret that job seekers want an exceptional candidate experience throughout the hiring stages. Communicating openly with candidates can play a big role in the experience they have, improving your reputation in the process. Englin emphasizes, “Attractive means being responsive!”

52% of job seekers said the number one frustration during their job search was lack of communication in the hiring process

Job seekers want information sooner, so being responsive and moving them quickly along the hiring stages should be a top priority.

As a business owner, it can be challenging to reply to every applicant, but automating messages through an applicant tracking system (ATS) like CareerPlug can save time and in return improve the candidate experience

Englin recommends, “If you don’t have the automation turned on, turn on the automation in CareerPlug! Let the system do it. That’s one of the values of CareerPlug.”

Move fast, be responsive, and keep candidates excited about your open roles!

Recruiting passive candidates

As an employer, passive recruiting is an essential tool to have in your toolbelt. It keeps talent in your pipeline year-round for the open roles you may need to fill at a moment’s notice. Englin outlines his strategies to finding these top-quality candidates:

  • Employer branding:  Employer branding is about communicating your message,  your core values and vision, where your company’s going, and the information about your leadership team. When you communicate that well, you’ll make high-quality hires.
  • Employee referral programs:  Employee referral programs are commonly known as the best source for quality hires. In fact, 48% of businesses say their top-quality hires come from referrals! To get your team excited about referring potential candidates, tie the reward or incentive to your values or a foundational part of your business.

Attract Passive Candidates with CareerPlug

Request a demo to learn how our applicant tracking system can help you automate your hiring process and attract passive candidates consistently.


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Nicolle Gatlin

Manager of Partner Success

Kacie Sommers

Creative Design Manager

Kacie was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012 with a degree in Anthropology.

Kacie joined CareerPlug as an intern while still in college in 2012. Post-graduation, she joined the CareerPlug team full-time as a Talent Specialist on the Recruitment Services side of the business, eventually working her way up to be the Recruitment Services Manager. From there, she learned her passion for the internal processes of what makes the business tick and explored other roles at the company, including Internal Support, Implementation, and Quality Management, before eventually finding her home in Design. She is now building a Creative Design branch off of the Marketing team.

Outside of work, you can find Kacie walking her dogs Bixby & Bean along Buffalo Bayou, hanging out with friends (and their pets), and tending to her 40+ house plants.

Jenny Leman


Native to Texas, Jenny graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004 and joined CareerPlug in 2017. She retired her first career path as a Registered Dietitian after 10 years, and has found her true belonging in business operations.

As CareerPlug’s President, Jenny leads all teams to an aligned effort toward achieving our vision. She works to build healthy and scalable internal systems to equip and empower the CareerPlug teams to bring their best for our clients. She loves contributing new ideas and rethinking the status quo. Jenny really connects with the company’s core values, but especially with our intent to “Keep Growing.”

In her non-work life, Jenny enjoys time with her family, playing drums and performing with the Austin Samba School, and finding excuses to be on the lake.

Chris Igou

Vice President of Sales

Chris accidentally started a 20-year career in franchising when he was 18 years old and took a job painting houses for College Pro Painters. That job turned into the ownership of his first franchise (a house painting franchise). While at Monmouth College in IL, he operated his business, played on the varsity football team, and studied to become a teacher.

The taste of entrepreneurship and desire to coach others led Chris deeper into franchising, working with a few franchise brands helping them grow their businesses. He lived in the Chicagoland area his entire life until recently moving his family to Austin, TX.

In his free time Chris coaches youth sports, especially youth football, and spends as much time as he can with his wife and 2 children.

Andrew Robinson III

Vice President of Product and Engineering

Natalie Morgan

Senior Director of People

Leslie Chamberlain

Senior Director of Client Experience

Brad Pilot

Director of Sales

Teresa Hall

Director of UX & Product Design

Canaan Davis

Director of Engineering

Ashley Garia

Director of Product Marketing

Desiree Echevarria

Senior Content Marketing Manager

Ashley Johnson

Implementation Manager

Originally from small town in central Texas, Ashley Johnson graduated from Texas State University in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration. She was hired by CareerPlug as a Talent Specialist in 2014, and moved up to ultimately lead the Recruitment Services team. From there, she pivoted to Implementation, and is now the Implementation Manager.

As the Implementation Manager, Ashley and 3 direct reports function as a transition between Sales and Partner Success in helping our clients get set up and established in our software. She spends her free time raising her 2 dogs, playing cornhole, and perfecting the art of charcuterie.

Tulay Solak

HR Manager

Aiden Kinney

Consultant Manager

Zach Garcia

Sales Operations Manager

Kirsten Penaloza

Director of Client Experience

Eric Morales

Manager of Account Executives

Brandy Lee

Operational Manager


Use our templates to create an attractive careers page and job posting. Then promote it through our job board partners, as well as directly with your employees, customers, and social network.



Use our notifications and automations to be the first to respond to qualified applicants. Send texts and emails from directly from CareerPlug to convert applicants to scheduled interviews.



Use our prescreen questions and assessments to identify the best applicants. Then use our interview questions and scorecards to evaluate for the right things consistently.



Once you think you have found the right person, use our reference and background check resources to verify them. Then, send an electronic offer letter from CareerPlug to close the deal!



Hiring is hard, but partnering with us makes it easier. From posting jobs to scheduling interviews, CareerPlug allows you to automate certain parts of the process to improve your results and save you time.


Polly Schandorf

Engineering Manager

Joe Lepis

Engineering Manager

Clint Smith

Founder & CEO

Clint founded CareerPlug in 2007 with the simple idea that there was a better way to help employers connect with quality applicants. Today Clint works every day to fulfill CareerPlug’s mission: Make Hiring Easier. Leading by example, Clint loves spending his time developing new ideas and teaching others.

After graduating from the University of Florida, Clint worked in investment banking and strategic marketing; both experiences influenced the development of CareerPlug. He also spent a year away from the business world teaching 5th grade in Boulder.

Clint is passionate about helping others succeed and is involved in numerous mentoring programs. He and his wife, Sarah, are also foster parents. Clint enjoys family time, beach volleyball, and outdoor adventures.