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

Get 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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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.

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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.

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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.