Organisations looking to acquire top talent are acutely aware that candidate engagement is a ‘make-or-break’ imperative. This is even more so with passive candidates. When top passive candidates are not searching for opportunities, how do you engage them in a meaningful way that creates a positive employer brand?

innovation is the key to attract passive talent

In engaging with passive candidates, recruiters must look at innovative techniques that get the company noticed and positively recalled.

  • Deploying the right technology and tools - this will motivate passive talent to willingly invest their time, effort and consideration
  • A dynamic experience in a digital environment – passive talent needs a more compelling experience to draw their attention
  • A sense of how technology will be at work in the organization – this will assure them that they will have opportunities to learn additional skills and capabilities
  • An excitement of building relationships – passive candidates look forward to opportunities to grow under the guidance of knowledgeable peers, coaches and mentors

If technology is to truly act as an effective engagement tool, it should address the prospective employee’s aspirations throughout his work lifecycle - from talent acquisition to engagement and retention. It should open the possibilities of exciting communication, learning, coaching, performance, rewards, recognition and well-being.

setting the ‘social’ environment

How best can you use your social platforms to draw passive candidates? For the passive candidate, social media offers unlimited networking possibilities.

  • It allows you to distribute engaging content on a larger scale
  • Social networks accelerate the talent brand of a company by attracting passive talent communities and providing powerful digital referrals
  • Consistently flowing content that is relevant and carefully thought out will significantly engage the passive candidate
  • Social geo-location tools can tap into a huge pool of the brightest of passive talent who carry their social and professional lives on their mobiles and tablets
  • Preview into the company culture can build strong engagement and convince the passive candidate that this is the right company to join

A seamless onboarding experience (using the right technology and tools) can reinforce the positive feeling when they finally make their decision to join. With a motivating induction, the passive candidate fast tracks from being a tentative new joiner to understanding and feeling part of the company.

a collaborative culture of engagement

Helping passive candidates to be in continuous touch creates strong bonds between peers, and with their organisations.

  • Workplace wikis and discussion forums can create and expand networks for them to feel engaged as they share knowledge
  • Tools like Slack, Google hangouts and Skype can bring together the right groups in an instant handshake
  • Application program interfaces (APIs), gamification and mobile apps can deliver excitement for enhanced experiences

the power of peer interaction and feedback

Well-designed online platforms provide real-time and motivated peer interaction and feedback. In a manner of speaking, this serves as recognition of performance and achievements without any pressure.

  • It leads to belonging and stickiness even before the passive candidate joins the company
  • It leads to a culture of greater collaboration in the workplace when they ultimately join
  • It creates transparency and breaks down barriers of mistrust
  • Crowd-sourced social recognition solutions provide passive candidates the satisfaction of networking with professionals outside their current employment to add value to their skills and capabilities
  • Cloud-based programmes can enable scalability and agility in an innovative manner

building excitement into possibilities of learning and development

Organisations can open selective short learning modules for passive candidates (with mobile and self-service options) that give a peek preview into how life in the new company could be satisfying. For a passive candidate this can be the strongest pull factor. Of course, it should be an authentic promise that will continue in greater measure for them as employees.

The march of technology has significantly rewritten the rules of passive candidate engagement. Nurturing them requires an environment that celebrates ongoing development and collaboration. Talent acquisition teams can kindle motivation amongst such prospective employees of choice with exciting platforms that realize their learning and growth plans.

about the author
yashab giri new
yashab giri new

yeshab giri

chief commercial officer - staffing & RT professionals

yeshab is responsible for leading the development and expansion of randstad India’s value added staffing services which currently encompass field force, engineering and technology roles.