Why Mid-Market CEOs Should Focus on Finding and Engaging Passive Candidates for Talent

Why Mid-Market CEOs Should Focus on Finding and Engaging Passive Candidates for Talent

Passive candidates have stronger skills and experience than their active counterparts.

As a mid-market CEO, you are responsible for ensuring your team has the talent and resources it needs to reach its goals. Hiring top talent is essential for driving productivity and growth within your business – and there’s no denying that finding and engaging passive candidates can be one of the most challenging aspects of this process. However, if executed properly, passive candidate recruitment can provide access to highly sought-after professionals who are not actively seeking a new role. 

With unemployment where it is, most of the skilled workforce is already employed. And the vast majority of the top talent is almost definitely employed. If the great resignation taught us anything, it was that talent is looking for the right fit, and it has the power. 

According to the National Center of the Middle Market, potential candidates can be broken down into three categories:

  • Active job searchers are individuals who actively browse job boards daily and seek the help of recruiting firms, making up a little more than a tenth of the talent pool.
  • Semi-active job seekers represent about a quarter of the talent looking for work. Although they aren’t actively searching for work, they do scope opportunities and connect with recruitment agencies periodically while checking job boards.
  • Passive candidates make up the majority of potential candidates, sometimes as much as 75-80% of the potential talent market.

Even though active candidates may be easier to attract and hire. Passive candidates are the ones being targeted by many companies. Why? Because the top talent is already employed. The good part is they are more likely make a job move for the right reasons, such as culture and career fit, since they already have their current employment as a cushion.

Finding Passive Candidates

In a previous article, I already identified ways to source, or expose your brand, to these candidates. I mentioned employee referral programs and social media presence as two of the more common approaches. Also, Think ‘out of the box’ in recruiting this type of candidate. Still, go through the traditional channels of establishing referral programs, social media outreach, and postings on job boards. But being inventive is essential to spotting inactive job searchers. 

Companies are producing videos explaining what it’s like to work there in increasing numbers. Others advertise on various platforms and other internet radio stations since that is where their potential job applicants hang out.

Engaging Passive Candidates

The following are some tips to consider when engaging with passive job candidates.

  • Don’t lead with the duties and responsibilities of an available position since it will not attract passive candidates.
  • Get their attention by showing what makes working with your company memorable and fulfilling.
  • Focus on building their trust by being interested in their career goals and preferred working style and environment.

Mid-market CEOs will probably need to work hard to build genuine relationships with passive job searchers, which will likely take time. But it is time well spent if Mid-market companies want to benefit from this oft-overlooked pool of talented professionals. So don’t wait – take action now and start refining and evaluating your recruitment pipeline with passive candidates, as they may be the key to unlocking your company’s growth potential.

Charles Good 
President, Institute for Management Studies
775-322-8222  |  ims-online.com  |  charles@ims-online.com

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