Reaching passive candidates

Orla Hodnett
Orla Hodnett

Passive candidates are the impossible dream of the recruiting world. Or are they? How can you reach the passive candidates you want to hire?

You want to be ready to hire passive candidates when they are ready to make a career move. Appealing to passive candidates takes planning, strategy, and time. With all these moving parts, recruiting software should be your first port of call, but what else do you need to do to reach passive candidates?

Passive candidates are more likely to find a known brand appealing, so it is really just a case of getting your organisation’s name out there. Here are just a few ways you can get the conversation with your next big hire started:

Employer brand

A solid employer brand is invaluable to any recruiting efforts and in the case of appealing to passive candidates, this is certainly true. You have to make your company culture and work clearly understood if you are to appeal to new talent. In addition to that, a passive candidate is more likely to be tempted by a recognisable brand.

To help your chances of attracting the elusive passive candidate, you can take various steps to help to build up your employer brand. A custom careers site is essential to appeal to the curious, which HireHive can certainly help with.

Events can help you assert your business as a thought leader and as an influential organisation


Industry events are a great way of discovering new trends and products, as well as getting in contact with industry professionals. It is also a great way of demonstrating what your company is doing right now and your company culture. Events offer a secondary function too: potentially attracting new talent.

Events can help you assert your business as a thought leader and as an influential organisation, which ties in closely with your employer branding efforts. Getting passive candidates engaged with your company is a great way of piquing their interest.

Social media is an extremely powerful branding and recruiting tool

Engage with passive candidates on social media

Social media is an extremely powerful branding and recruiting tool. It allows you to easily and effectively get your name out there. For attracting passive candidates, they work in a combination of ways.

It allows you to build up your talent pool, get in contact with passive candidates, and build your employer brand. LinkedIn is the obvious first choice, but Twitter and Facebook are useful for reaching communities of industry professionals.

Bide your time

You may often contact passive candidates and never hear back. They might be your dream candidates, but they may just not be looking right now. It’s important not to be too overbearing and to know when to back off. But you must be able to strike a balance: be ready to strike when they are looking.

Maintaining interest and casual contact may be a good way to let them know you have them in mind. Building up a good talent pool takes time and consistency, so putting in the time now may enable you to successfully hire that passive candidate in the future.


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