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You’re five months into your recruiting cycle. The position you’ve been assigned — Director of IT for a highly specialized but unknown software company located in rural Minnesota — is proving impossible to fill. 

You sit at your desk on a warm summer day, browsing LinkedIn for the umpteenth time. Then you see it: Sarah’s profile. 

Sarah lives in southern Minnesota. She develops highly-specialized but obscure software. And her most recent comment is about Taylor Swift’s latest album, which signals to you that she is most likely a good person. 

The only problem? She already has a job and — judging by her company’s recent Taylor Swift-themed office party — she looks happy in it.

Lucky for you and Sarah, the process of recruiting passive candidates doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out these five  techniques for cutting down your sales cycle when you’re looking for talent who isn’t looking.


Time-Saving Tips for Recruiting Passive Candidates

1. Use job boards and candidate database services

Job boards and candidate databases like Indeed, Monster, and Ziprecruiter are go-to’s for active candidates. But they are also useful for sourcing passive candidates. 

Resumes — complete with direct dials, email addresses, and lists of skill-sets — remain in these databases. Though they become outdated over time, they can be used for contact information and gaining a better understanding of a candidate’s interests.

2. Utilize social media

Depending on how much they share, social media can tell you a lot about a person’s talents, passions, and character. The most obvious one is LinkedIn, but don’t overlook Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for taking a deeper dive into someone’s candidacy.

This can save you phone calls with candidates who won’t fit your client’s culture or, on the flip side, help you spot someone who is even more of a perfect match. 

Social media also offers a direct and casual way to reach out, which might catch your passive candidate’s attention more quickly than an email.

3. Promote company culture

Sourcing passive candidates is its own challenge, but knowing how to convince passive candidates to leave their job is another.

One way to do this is to promote and prioritize the company culture of your client. This means really learning about it.

  • What is their management style like?
  • What type of events, parties, or activities do they put on?
  • What’s their social environment like on a day-to-day basis?
  • When was their last team outing? What did they do?
  • How would your client describe the people at their company?

Asking deeper questions of your client and their company culture will help you acquire a list of valuable details to share with potential  candidates. Alongside a compelling job description, these can be the key ingredients in convincing them to leave their current positions to join your client.

4. Target companies where there have been recent changes

When it comes to how (and when) to engage passive candidates, look for companies where there’s been recent change, such as a merger, acquisition, or shift in upper management. Big changes could mean ensuing unhappiness. Even if it doesn’t, it at least means uncertainty, which could make it the perfect time for you to step in with a new opportunity.

5. Invest in a B2B intelligence platform

Out of all the techniques for recruiting passive candidates, investing in a tool that can provide you with a wealth of information is perhaps the most important.

Whether it yields contact information (direct dials, personal email addresses, etc.) or specific filters (location, org charts, technologies, etc.), using a B2B intelligence platform will significantly reduce  your sales cycle by helping you identify and reach out to the best talent  as quickly and efficiently as possible.

You can even set up alerts for when mergers, acquisitions, or management changes occur and have these updates sent directly to your inbox, so you can connect with your ideal passive candidates at the perfect moment.

About the author

Stephanie Tonneson

Stephanie Tonneson is a Content Marketing Coordinator at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact database and sales intelligence solution for go-to-market teams.

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