Your perfect candidate is out there; they just don’t know it yet.

If you are struggling to recruit the right talent for your business then you are not alone; this is a common issue for many employers. Happily the reason behind it is very simple: your perfect candidate is probably not looking for another job… yet.

Meet the Passive Candidate

She is happy in her current role.

She is a highly valued employee and excellent at her job.

She is not looking for a new role, but…

… She would be interested in the right opportunity and would be prepared to consider attractive offers.

There is little consensus about the proportion of “passives” in the job market today (estimates vary from 40% to 85% of employees) however a LinkedIn survey found 41% of employees describe themselves as a passive candidate, compared to 46% actively seeking a new job in a one year cycle, and 9% as unwilling to change employers at all.

Passive candidates therefore make up a significant proportion of the potential talent pool; perhaps even half. If you are relying on traditional recruitment methods, waiting for people to respond to your advertised vacancies, then you may be waiting some time. You are missing out on this large number of potential employees because they simply are not looking.

In short : the best talent might not be knocking down your door, so it’s time to knock on theirs.

Attracting Passive Talent

Reaching and engaging proactively with non-active or ‘passive’ candidates is becoming increasingly important. But how do you go about it? Well, our simple answer here is: Get Social.

Using Social Media to find your next candidate.

Social media is a fantastic tool to find passive candidates and is having a major impact on how and where candidates are recruited. The CIPD reports that 80% of companies using social media say it has boosted their employer brand and increased their potential selection pool, while 75% say it has reduced resourcing costs.

Think about it: 74% of professionals maintain a Facebook profile. And before you dismiss facebook as a valid pool of candidates for your business, you should know that the average age of the UK’s Facebook users is over 40 and more than half of Twitter’s users are over 35. Social media is no longer the preserve of the younger generation that it was once perceived to be.

Recruiters may initially use social media channels in their search for new talent. However many potential candidates see a clear distinction between personal and professional social media networks and use them for different purposes. Employers therefore need to be selective about what type of advertising they do on which network.

[A side note on active candidates: A survey conducted by the CIPD reveals 39% of UK jobseekers use social networking sites to find a job, with Facebook the most popular (used by 61%), followed by LinkedIn (47%), Twitter (30%), Google+ (25%), YouTube (17%) and Instagram (9%).]

Using Social Media to engage with your next candidate

Once you have found your next potential candidate, perhaps even engaged with them in some way, it is important that your business has an online presence to add substance to your assurances. Social Media is a wonderful tool to help give the right impression of you as a potential employer – just make sure it is authentic.

Using social media to post vacancies isn’t enough. Companies should aim to maintain high-quality content on a number of different subjects such as:

  • company culture
  • employee opportunities, and
  • plans for the future.

Regular and active participation in online groups specific to a particular sector or industry is also important.

It is crucial that employers:

  • Understand what different networks can do for an organisation and use the most efficient social media platform for recruitment.
  • Use a targeted approach on social media : find out which platforms your ideal candidates are using.
  • Use social media to reinforce corporate values and company culture.
  • Ensure that all information on corporate social media profiles is informative, concise and easy to follow.
  • Remember that a candidate’s personal profile may not reflect their professional abilities.

Social media is clearly a fantastic tool in helping to recruit the right talent for your business, but we are not advocating abandoning established practices to assess candidates. Over-reliance on social media could exclude or even deter good candidates, so remember to keep the balance right!