Sourcing Passive Candidates

What are the Best Practices for Sourcing Passive Candidates?

Published on December 9th, 2022


One of the biggest issues for talent acquisition professionals is sourcing passive candidates.

Even though there are many active job seekers, sometimes the best applicants are those who aren't actively seeking a job.

Sourcing passive candidates is a recruiter’s “sweet spot”. They add the most value in this domain. It is also one of the reasons why automated technology and social media networks can never replace recruiters.

Sourcing passive candidates can be a terrific method to fill positions, but if you don't know where to look, it can be challenging to identify the top applicants. The best practices for sourcing passive candidates and persuading them to look at your job advertisement are discussed below.

But first…

Who are Passive Candidates?

Passive candidates are individuals who aren't actively looking for work. Usually, they are happy and satisfied with their job. Additionally, their current employment keeps them busy and engaged. However, they are willing to make a career move if the new opportunity presents better than the one they already have. 

Such candidates are invited for certain suitable positions as part of the passive recruitment process because they have desirable experience and abilities that companies and hiring managers find appealing. Sourcing passive candidates may be a tough nut to crack because they are well-adjusted and content with their current position.

On the other hand, active job seekers are the ones who are actively looking for a job because they don't have a job or they are not happy in their present employment.  

What is Candidate Sourcing?

Candidate sourcing is the process of finding top talent for open positions in your business that match your desired skills, education, and interests. Candidate sourcing looks for both active and passive candidates and makes an effort to hire them for the position you require.

Defining Passive Candidate Sourcing

Combining both terms, passive candidate sourcing comes down to being an act of finding and engaging with applicants who are not actively searching for jobs right now.

Passive candidate sourcing refers to actively seeking out employed candidates and reaching out to them with new employment opportunities, in contrast to traditional sourcing, which involves posting a job and waiting for applicants to apply.

Importance of Sourcing Passive Candidates

One of the most effective strategies to find qualified talent is to source passive candidates. According to studies, finding passive candidates for an open post is two times more effective than just receiving active applications, with an average of one out of every 72 sourced prospects getting hired.

Furthermore, it is crucial to integrate passive candidate sourcing in your hiring strategy in a market where only 30% of applicants are actively seeking employment. The perfect applicant is probably already employed, but they are almost certainly interested in learning more about the position.

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Best Practices for Sourcing Passive Candidates

Take advantage of Social Media Platforms

The majority of recruiters use LinkedIn as a recruiting tool, but because it is so loaded with recruiters, it is getting more difficult to find passive applicants. It's time to expand your social recruiting strategy since 52 percent of hiring managers think that passive candidate recruiting has become less effective due to oversaturation on LinkedIn.

Instead, you can:

  • Use Twitter: Find profiles that make use of industry-specific keywords and hashtags by using Twitter's advanced search feature. After that, narrow your search using location and other important aspects.
  • Post on Facebook: Additionally, recruiters can use Facebook's targeted search features to locate top-notch passive applicants. Instead of using LinkedIn, think about using Facebook to reach out to applicants. Since they are less likely to receive messages from recruiters on Facebook, they may be more likely to reply.
  • Find low-key Social Platforms: Although you may be familiar with social media sites like Snapchat and Instagram, you may not have thought about using them in your hiring strategy. However, recruiters can use these sites in fresh ways to entice passive candidates.
  • Go for Job-Specific Social Platforms: Another trending way to source passive candidates is to use role-specific social media platforms. For example, you can make use of GitHub to hire software developers or you can browse Behance or Dribble if you are looking for designers.

Strengthen your Employer's Brand

Employment brand is the reputation of an organization in the market among other recruiters and candidates. Passive job seekers are frequently drawn to companies whose employment brands match their objectives and ideals.

A strong employment brand is reflected when a company is known for its support of community development, and employee volunteering, is a fun, free-thinking organization that enforces innovative thinking, and is invested in the professional development of the candidates.

No matter the brand, after it has been identified and established, work to reinforce it so that passive job searchers are aware that your company is a great place to work. Find out where your brand is not being perceived as strongly as you would like it to be or where it is not as accessible, and try to change those things.

Ask yourselves questions such as

  • How well-liked is the organization in the community, social network, stakeholders, and potential candidates?
  • Is it regarded as a top employer?
  • What do current and past employees on websites like Glassdoor, Salary, and CareerBuilder have to say about working here?

Implement a Referral Program

The best source of passive candidates for recruiters is frequently current employees. Referrals have long been a foundation of modern recruiting strategies, and for good reason: according to 78 percent of recruiters, referrals are where they find the best applicants.

Each of your employees is connected personally and professionally through their networks. Additionally, these networks frequently include a lot of excellent prospects who could be a match for open roles at your business. However, passive prospects are significantly more likely to consider an opportunity presented to them by a personal connection than they are to reply to a message from a recruiter.

Referral programs will not only benefit you in sourcing more passive candidates but they have also been shown to provide candidates of a higher caliber than other sourcing strategies. According to studies, referred employees outperform non-referred hiring by up to 15%.

Make Use of Automation Tools

If you start using the correct automation technologies, recruiting passive applicants won't be that tedious process you dread doing. A wide range of functions is offered by a variety of candidate sourcing software that can assist in making your sourcing "automated."

Compared to doing it manually, this method of recruiting is quicker and more efficient. The AI system scours job boards to collect and assess a wide range of candidate databases. It includes information from their résumé that corresponds with the relevant positions. These details enable AI-based systems to foretell which passive candidates will show interest in changing professions. Consequently, the recruiters may easily prioritize and draw in passive applicants.

Using automated talent sourcing tool will simplify your task by doing the labor-intensive work of sourcing passive candidates. This means that while AI takes the wheel and continues to work for you, you may concentrate more on developing recruiting strategies. 

Lure them with Personalized Sourcing Emails

When was the last time you replied to a bulk-sourcing email?  Most likely never. Most passive job seekers are content with their positions. They aren't actively looking for new job roles. 

Gaining their trust and directing their interest are the only ways to get them to break out of their routine. Both tasks cannot be accomplished by a general email that may have been forwarded to hundreds of recipients.

Personalized emails demand more thought. To save time, you could employ a general template. However, the email's body should reflect what brought you to the candidate's profile in the first place. Mention how their achievements correspond to the position or business you are sourcing for. Put just enough information to get a conversation going. A long email with too much information won't be as compelling as a brief, concise one. 

Final Thoughts

A recruiter's job may be made easier by sourcing active candidates, but as you are aware, the ideal applicant won't just show up at the door prepared to be employed. Sourcing passive applicants can be more difficult, but it's a key strategy in the competitive, quick-paced employment environment of today.

The good news is that finding passive candidates isn't as challenging as it might appear. In actuality, 85% of passive candidates are willing to change employment! If you use the strategies described above, you'll find and connect with a lot of passive candidates — some of whom could have a significant impact on your business for years to come.

If you're on the lookout for the best way to source passive candidates, EasySource is the game-changer you've been waiting for. This powerful talent sourcing platform that revolutionizes the recruitment process by seamlessly integrating candidate discovery, candidate screening, and candidate engagement for recruiters.

Automated Outreach:
EasySource's intuitive dashboard simplifies the outreach process, enabling recruiters to automate and categorize candidates effortlessly. With sorting options, identifying the most relevant candidates becomes a swift task.

Workflow Customization:
Recruiters can craft personalized workflows with ease, choosing from pre-existing options or tailoring them to specific needs. Ready-made templates for connection requests, emails, and LinkedIn InMails further enhance efficiency.

Time Delay Feature:
Easy Source introduces a time delay feature, strategically optimizing communication effectiveness by creating intervals between different outreach steps.

Recruiters gain the advantage of tracking candidate responses through the dashboard, messages and email tab, and workflows tab. Collaborative work is facilitated, enhancing team efficiency.

AI-Driven Candidate Sourcing:
For efficient candidate selection, EasySource simplifies candidate sourcing from LinkedIn platforms using AI. It suggests relevant filters, streamlining the candidate selection process.

Intelligent Candidate Experience Analysis:
The tool's AI analyzes candidate profiles, offering intelligent insights into the most relevant experiences for the job. This feature saves valuable time in the review process.

Real-Time Insights:
Easy Source's dashboard provides real-time insights into sourcing activities, empowering recruiters to track profiles viewed and candidates added to the pipeline instantly.

In conclusion, EasySource stands as a comprehensive solution, arming recruiters with advanced AI and automation features to elevate their sourcing and outreach processes in recruitment.

recruitment and selection



Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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