Many industries are struggling to fill their open positions. The Great Reshuffle meant that in 2021, more than 47 million workers quit their jobs for better opportunities—and by the end of the year, hiring was outpacing quit rates. Yet employers are still struggling to attract and retain talent. 

If you’ve been striking out with your usual talent pool, it may be time to turn some attention to passive recruitment—building relationships with individuals who are currently employed but may be open to a good opportunity if it were to present itself.  

Why are passive job seekers good candidates? 

Passive job seekers are employed individuals who are not actively looking for a new job but may consider a good career opportunity if it arises. These job seekers can be attractive candidates because they typically have good employment records and are satisfied with their work. Because they aren’t looking for a new job, they can be more selective about the job opportunities they consider. If you can offer an opportunity that aligns with their career goals, they may be more likely to consider it seriously.  

They may not be searching the typical job sites, so it may take a bit more effort to reach them and encourage them to apply for your position. 

How can you locate passive job seekers? 

Passive job seekers are often highly skilled and experienced, making them valuable candidates when you are looking to fill roles that require specialized knowledge or expertise. Engaging with passive job seekers and building relationships with them can help organizations stay competitive and find needed talent. Relationships with passive job seekers may take some time to cultivate, but here are a few things you can do to begin: 

  • Strengthen your brand. Passive job seekers may be attracted to organizations that are known for being good employers. Is your organization involved in your local community? Does it have a reputation as a great place to work? By strengthening these messages and showing off your company culture, you can make it known that your company is a place where employees flourish. 
  • Use social media. Post positive things your company is doing on your social media accounts. Ask your employees to share and like your posts so they can reach a wider range of people and get the message out.  
  • Attend networking events. Make your presence known at industry events. This is a great way to engage with talent who you may not have a position for today, but may want to recruit in the future. Building relationships can pay off in the long term! 
  • Promote employee referral programs. Do your current employees have friends, former coworkers, or other acquaintances who may be a good fit? Be sure to reward them for helping locate a new employee.  

It’s all about relationship building 

Because these candidates are generally happy with their current situation, they will require serious consideration before jumping to something new. This makes long-term relationship building incredibly important when trying to engage passive job seekers. 

Whether you engage with passive job seekers through phone calls, social media, or conversations at a trade show, it’s important that your interactions are authentic. Ask them about their short- and long-term career goals—and what you may be able to offer to get them there. You may find candidates who would be a great fit but you don’t have a position for today—be sure to keep these individuals engaged so they will be receptive when the right position arises. 

Although passive job seekers may take a bit more work and a dedication to a long-term strategy, they can be an excellent way to find candidates to add to your recruitment pipeline. 


The “Great Resignation” has resulted in a great opportunity for many people—and for businesses like yours to find top talent. Let InVista help.    

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