5 Ways to Recruit Passive Job Seekers


With the scarce supply of qualified candidates but ample demand, are you able to attract and recruit the right candidate to fill up the job vacancies you have?

It’s time to change your focus on the type of job seekers, from Active to Passive ones. Especially for specialised industries, such as IT.

In this blog article, we will recommend you tips to source for passive candidates.

What is a Passive Job Seeker?

A passive job seeker is someone who is currently employed and is happy with his/ her current role. Basically, it’s an individual who is not intently looking for a job, unlike an active job seeker.

However, although passive candidates are contented with their jobs, they remain open to switching jobs and are just waiting for employers to reach out to them with better career opportunities and benefits.

Why hire Passive Job Seekers?

According to research by LinkedIn and SHRM, passive candidates make up more than 3/4 of the global workforce where the remaining is made up by active candidates. 

So, by sourcing for both active and passive job seekers, it will expand your talent pool, giving you a higher chance to get a qualified candidate in a shorter period.

Hence, making your recruitment process and effort worth it. An efficient source of hire.

Hubspot even reveals that 90% of global professionals are interested in hearing about new job opportunities. 

Adding on to that, less resources and energy will be required to hire passive candidates. Reason being, passive candidates are usually among the audience of your marketing persona and have done their research on your company. 

In a way killing two birds with one stone. 

Firstly, you already have a heap of information about them and you just have to tweak a little to personalise your interaction with target candidates. Easing your engagement with them.

Secondly, the learning process will be shorter, saving time and resources as passive candidates having done their research would already know the company’s culture, mission, values, etc. And high chance is that they are already working in a similar field as the open job position.

Moving on from here is where you should start taking down notes:

Ways to Recruit Passive Job Seekers

1. Social Media – the best recruiting tool

In this modern society, everything happens around mobile and social media. Especially for the Millenials, who are the future of work. 

As a result, making social media recruiting crucial to your overall recruiting strategy.

As Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery says “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

Here are some facts [cred: Career Arc]:

  • 84% of companies are using social media for recruiting purposes. [SHRM]
  • 91% of employers use LinkedIn and give it a 3.8 effectiveness rating on a 5-point scale. [NACE]
  • 73% of millennials found their last position through a social media site. [Aberdeen Group]
  • 71% of recruiters said social media recruiting was effective in decreasing time-to-fill for non-management, salaried positions. [SHRM]
  • 8% of millennials visit a company’s social media properties specifically to evaluate an employer’s brand. [CareerArc]
    • It is important to promote and maintain your employer brand (EB) as that is one of the things that affects your potential passive candidate’s decision.
    • EB resonates with passive candidates
  • 79% of employers believe that social media marketing will be the most in-demand HR skills by the year 2020. [CareerArc]

“As Singapore leads the way in social media penetration in South East Asia with 83 per cent of the population on social media it is not unusual that this number reflects the changing dynamics between employers, employees and prospective employees. ” says Grant Torrens, Business Director at Hays Singapore.

2. Take advantage of Mass Referral Effect

By tapping on existing professional networks to source for key talent, you stand to benefit by gaining access to a network of curated talents.

To support that, research reveals that “Companies can expand their talent pool 10 times by leveraging employees’ networks.” [Inc.com]

This can be done through an employee referral program or applications like Jobs007.

Jobs007 uses the power of referral to change the way you recruit. When you post a job on this social recruitment platform, users are incentivised to share your job post with their network, referring them to your job.

Jobs007 Mobile App

This means your job post could go viral as it is exposed to a wider range of talent pool. 

Furthermore, referral-based recruitment will allow your company to attain higher quality candidates as “Employees are 3x more likely to be a trusted source of information compared to the employer”, states LinkedIn.

It is also stated in a research by Oracle that referred employees perform up to 15% better than non-referred hires.

Sounds good? Here’s what makes it better. It is FREE to post jobs on the platform!

All you have to do is just post a job and let Jobs007 get the word out for you!

3. Start investing in AI

In the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it’s no secret that HR is being transformed by AI. And one day, it may even be completely taken over by AI. 

“AI has the potential to be a significant driver of economic growth”

McKinsey Projects, Notes from the AI Frontier September 2018

7 Benefits of incorporating AI into HR (cred: TalentCulture):

  • AI Can Sift Through Thousands of Applications Faster
  • Increases Retention Rates and Productivity
  • Reduces Hiring Bias
  • Streamlines Employee Onboarding
  • Helps Employers Craft Job Descriptions
  • Improves Employee Engagement and Builds Better Relationships
  • Helps You Save Time

In this fast-changing world, you have to embrace technology and live your life with uncertainty and ambiguity. Only through that, can your business thrive and stay relevant. 

As we are living in a time of unprecedented change, you have to keep in mind that time will not wait for you.

You either keep up or be left behind.

What you can do to embrace HR digital transformation is to use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). There are a few HR Tech companies offering such service, including IoTalents.

IoTalents’ ATS is built in-house and uses their own system called Talenlytics™. It uses AI and data science to help you source for higher quality candidates through natural language screening, intelligently match top candidates to job, interview, and score candidates.

The benefit of using an in-house ATS is that it can be personalised to your company’s requirements and preferences.

Looking for an ATS but unsure about it? Take a look at IoTalents’ demo here.

“HR directors and HR Business Partners are therefore encouraged to not only be adaptable but also commercially minded to assess the returns on investments of AI in HR processes,”

Grant Torrens, Business Director at Hays Singapore

4. Cultivate your Employer Brand

Employer branding (EB) is a powerful recruiting tool. Why?

As people say, the first impression is the best impression. And people tend to make their decision based on this mental image. 

In the recruiting world, EB is the first impression of the company. 

When you find your dream company

Hence, if you want to attract potential, good candidates, it is crucial for you to leave a strong, positive impression on them. A genuine and good employer is what all people hope for, including me. 

“If an organization is honest about its work culture it will naturally attract the right people.”

Andrew Warner, Monster.com’s VP of Marketing

By building a strong EB, it will not only attract qualified talents but retain and engage existing employees too. A win-win situation.

It is statistically proven that:

  • 66% of people who recently changed jobs were aware of the company they joined before they applied.
  • 92% of candidates would consider leaving their jobs if a company with an excellent corporate reputation offered them another role 
  • Most job seekers read at least 6 reviews before forming an opinion of a company

“A star does not compete with other stars around it; it just shines.”

Matshona Dhliwayo

Showcasing your company’s culture to external people accurately is no small feat. So here are some suggestions:

  • Establish a clearly defined EB to ensure all employees are on the same page
  • Encourage employee advocacy by incentivising them to create and share candid photos and videos on social networks
  • Update review sites like Glassdoor
  • Align employer brand with your customer-facing brand to prevent confusion of work culture
  • Be engaged in social media

5. Tailor your Career Opportunities

This is the main factor which determines the attractiveness of your company.

As sourcing for qualified candidates is getting more competitive, organisations are offering all kinds of company benefits and job opportunities to attract new talents and even retain their good employees. 

So what can you do to stand out from the crowd?

  1. Invest time to find out more about the passive candidate
    • Eg: their interest, ambitions, what drives them
    • Can be a convo starter
  2. Build relationships with passive candidates
    • Understand their career goals and skill levels
    • Enables you to create an offer which will be hard to refuse
  3. Emphasize growth opportunities
    • Technology Advice: 87 per cent of professionals rate professional career growth and developmental opportunities as important to them in a job.
    • Passive candidates are looking for a place to learn, to grow and to advance
  4. Help them realise their ambitions as they tend to think long-term
  5. Stay in close contact with them as passive candidates like to be kept up-to-date

“Compensation, professional development, and work-life balance are the most important factors.”


After all that’s being said, hopefully you are convinced to change your focus to passive candidates. However, do not neglect active candidates as your ideal candidate that can fill your job position can be among them too.

IoTalents.com is an integrated platform for online Hirers and IT Workforce (Employees, Contract workers and Virtual Talents) to get intelligently connected and transact. We match companies to awesome talent, through a precise combination of data science and human judgement.