According to a recent LinkedIn Survey of nearly 5,000 full-time professionals, 83% of candidates are passive and not actively seeking work and not actively applying for jobs you may be posting. These passive candidates are the silent majority of the candidate market.

Capturing this passive pool of candidates requires some special skills and tactics. So here are a few useful passive candidate recruiting strategies that employers can and should be using to ensure that they are fully engaging with candidates in this market.

Talent Communities: “We just want to talk about your career and profession”

The survey identified ‘super-passive’ candidates which accounted for 28 percent of the candidate job market; these candidates were not looking for jobs at all. Due to their satisfied status, a ‘hard sell’ approach is not going to work and could even irritate the candidate, so a softer approach is needed. It is this group that responds very well to ‘Talent Communities’ and are happy to engage with other professionals, candidates and employers in a no strings attached, light touch, on-line networking environment.

Blog on topics that connect with passive candidates who may soon become more active

Another rewarding technique to help in engaing with passive talent is blogging. Build a following to your branded blog by writing articles on topics such as hiring, career development, conflict management, getting a raise, etc. This approach courts passive candidates who may soon become active.

Entice passive candidates with one of the two key motivators to change jobs

Whether you do this prior to calling a candidate or during the call, try to establish which type of passive candidate you are dealing with, Explorers (who want a career move) or Tiptoers (who are looking for a better job). Being able to know who you are engaging with will help you establish the career level/aspiration of that candidate and ensure that the opportunity you are presenting to them addresses their key drivers.

Remove the Obstacles

The biggest hurdle in attracting a passive candidate is their “over-satisfied state” with their current position.
In addition to good old fashion “persistence”, a good way to engage with a passive candidate is to woo them and keep them engaged through a more personal approach rather than a strictly professional one. Give them the real sense that you are their “friend” and not just a recruiter.

Another key obstacle is “time”. High performing passive candidates will be busy and will likely feel a lot of pressure surrounding their time. So, if you are interested in engaging a passive candidate, make every effort to ensure efficiency throughout the process. Doing things like allowing the candidate to use their LinkedIn profile for a first screening (their resume is probably out of date), and committing to a first round video/telephone interview outside of work hours will show that you value their schedule and time.

There is no guaranteed equation that will always work in the attraction of passive candidates so using various strategies and approaches will give you a higher probability of connecting with the quiet majority.