Low unemployment, ghosting, and other issues will haunt your efforts to recruit workers in 2020. Fill openings with the right people by targeting passive job seekers.
Despites talk about a recession and slowing job growth, unemployment remains low. As a result, it may take longer to fill vacancies, especially those for highly skilled positions. One way to overcome this obstacle is to become more adept at identifying and reaching passive job candidates.
Passive job seekers are those individuals who are employed and not actively looking for a new position but open to opportunities. To identify these people, consider a few steps:
- Know and strengthen your organization’s brand. Passive employees may be enticed by companies that share their goals and values. For example, a pet-friendly organization with a strong pet therapy program could attract animal lovers. A strong wellness program and onsite fitness center would appeal to exercise enthusiasts. Strengthen the brand by promoting it on social media, in local press, and on the company website.
- Assess current and projected staffing needs. Know what positions you need to fill now and what ones are likely to be open in the coming months. Conduct a staffing analysis to identify skills gaps that will require new employees to fill (versus training current staff). This will help determine what passive job seekers you should target now and what relationships you should build for the future (such as offering internships with the IT department at a local university.
- Seek passive job candidates on social media. Start with LinkedIn, where you can search for and connect with people who have specific skills and experience. You can use the “advanced people search” tool to identify potential candidates quickly.
- Boost your mobile recruiting efforts. Optimize your company career website and job postings to be mobile-user-friend. Make sure your job applications are mobile-enabled. Work with your IT department to budget and plan for needed changes.
- Enhance your employee referral program. What does your referral program involve? Do our employees even know about it? Consider benchmarking it against other programs by visiting your competitors’ websites and social media pages. Ask your employees what would encourage them to refer friends and colleagues to your organization.
- Engage passive job seekers over time. Don’t pressure these people and overwhelm them with outreach efforts. Reach out to them via phone calls, emails, and/or social media. Share information about the organization, but also take the opportunity to learn about these individuals and their professional goals and interests. Use the data to send them targeted information about jobs they are likely to find interesting.
When you’ve established a relationship and start sending them listings, make the application process easy. If they have to spend time on excessive click-throughs and repetitive actions, it may discourage them from completing the application.
During the interview stage, don’t treat passive job seekers like active candidates. For instance, don’t ask why you should hire them; and don’t expect them to have conducted extensive research about your company. Remember that you approached them; treat them accordingly.