skip to main content

Adapting Your Recruitment Approach: Harnessing the Potential of the Passive Candidate

When our clients approach us with their recruitment challenges, a common theme emerges: the struggle to attract candidates of the right calibre for their key roles. With the labour shortage intensifying across various critical markets in the public sector, and the number of job openings surpassing the available workforce, this issue seems unlikely to resolve anytime soon. Understanding the underlying reasons is therefore essential.

Head of Business Solutions – Sourcing, Jon Dilling delves deeper into the common fundamental challenges in a recruitment process, allowing organisations to adapt and harness the potential of a passive recruitment market.

A successful recruitment campaign hinges on three critical components: effectively reaching your target audience, creating enthusiasm about your job opportunity, and securing applications. Penna's Candidate Sourcing business takes comprehensive measures to address these elements, increasing the chances of success for our clients. However, sometimes, it's prudent to revisit the basics.

Research conducted by LinkedIn reveals that typically only thirty percent of your talent pool is considered ‘active’. The active market comprises individuals actively seeking their next career move. While targeting this segment seems logical, it's vital to consider the broader context. Relying solely on this active pool means you're only reaching a mere fraction of your potential candidate pool.

Moreover, the perfect ‘active’ candidate you seek may not even be looking on the job site where your vacancy is placed. Even if they are, will they notice it? Can a concise 150-word advert truly captivate their interest and ignite enough enthusiasm to prompt them to apply?

What’s clear is that many of our clients already actually recognise this limitation. Consequently, they often ask about alternatives to traditional job sites, unsure of what other options are available.

How can you engage the passive market and connect with your primary audience?

So, what is the alternative approach for reaching the passive market and engaging with your target audience?

Given that Penna's Candidate Sourcing business focuses on helping clients recruit for positions in the £30-£80k salary range, where the main perception favours advertising as the most cost-effective and 'correct' strategy, this sparks our conversations with clients about the limitations of solely using this approach.

Considering that only thirty percent of the market constitutes active candidates, it's crucial not to overlook the vast potential within the remaining seventy percent of passive candidates. While these individuals might not be actively seeking a new position, research suggests that a significant portion would be open to exploring new opportunities if presented with the right prospect.

And so, the exciting opportunity and the key to securing the best talent lies in incorporating strategies that specifically target passive candidates.

This approach is particularly effective for highly skilled positions facing a talent shortage and critical roles where a poor hiring decision can have significant repercussions.

Attracting passive candidates, however, can be an arduous task. It necessitates extensive research, cold outreach efforts, and persistent follow-ups. Nonetheless, history has proven that adopting a targeted 'candidate sourcing' approach is the most robust and effective way of reaching this talent pool, thus explaining why many organisations opt to collaborate with external providers such as Penna.

While candidate sourcing has been a long-standing practice, Penna incorporates modern methodologies that leverage not only its internal candidate talent pools and extensive networks but also various social media platforms and professional networking sites, thus accessing a more extensive talent pool. Additionally, the utilization of an online Applicant Tracking System (ATS) streamlines the application process for candidates, maintaining a balance between technological efficiency and human interaction.

This comprehensive approach offered by a provider such as Penna adds significant value by:

  • Implementing a targeted approach to identify candidates possessing the precise technical skills, experience, track record, and qualifications required.
  • Adopting a strategic approach that goes beyond just filling roles, providing insights into the market to help facilitate change, and guide recruitment strategies.
  • Managing the entire campaign process, including candidate engagement, promotion of your employer proposition, and facilitating meaningful discussions about the potential benefits of the vacancy.
  • Handling the burden of filtering and assessment, presenting you with a pre-screened and evaluated long list of suitable candidates for straightforward shortlisting and interviewing, thus saving valuable time.
  • Demonstrating a commitment to providing you with a diverse longlist and employing a diverse recruitment process.
  • Adapting a blended recruitment solution by also including innovative Programmatic Advertising channels that purposely reach a more targeted and diverse passive audience.
  • Creating a flexible and blended recruitment solution by integrating innovative Programmatic Advertising channels to enrich the recruitment strategy. These channels are intentionally designed to reach a more targeted and diverse passive audience
  • Establishing a partnership-based approach focused on accountability and achieving results in collaboration with you.
  • Developing a strong employer value proposition for the long term attraction and engagement of passive candidates

Jon Dilling is the Head of Business Solutions – Candidate Sourcing at Penna. If you are interested in learning more about enhancing your recruitment outcomes, overcoming challenges, and exploring the potential of reaching more passive candidates through Candidate Sourcing, get in touch via the links below to discuss your specific needs with Jon and the team.

LinkedIn: Jon Dilling


Go to previous article

Introducing our new Managing Director, Kathryn Kempster

Go to next article

Meet the team: Introducing James Miller, a recent addition to Penna’s Candidate Sourcing business