Passive might not be on the top of your list of preferred personal characteristics, but when talking about job seekers, passive takes on an entirely different meaning. Passive candidates are usually currently employed and not actively searching for a new position. Recruiting these candidates can be more challenging and time consuming.

So how do you make your company attractive to passive candidates?  What will make these top-notch candidates not only apply to your positions, but accept a job offer?

1) Emphasize stability. You may be surprised that many candidates value job security over pay, and employers tend to underestimate this in the recruiting process. Emphasize stability in job postings by including information about the length of time your company has been in business, awards and recognitions received, and link to testimonials from long-term employees. 

2) Pay is still important. Although perhaps not the most important, compensation is still critical when candidates consider the list of reasons to join an organization. Employers need to be just as smart by benchmarking their pay against competitors. If possible, list your base pay on the job posting. A survey of job seekers found nearly 40% of candidates were discouraged from applying for jobs where no salary information was provided.  At the very least, list “highly competitive pay” and specify other benefits and perks of the position.

3) Differentiation. A candidate’s decision about which organization to work for is not only about compensation, so your organization needs to develop a point of difference. Make sure you highlight any points of difference for your organization throughout the recruitment process. Not only will it help attract great applicants, but it will also attract the type of applicants who are more likely to be a good fit with your company culture.

4) Climate assessment. Are your company’s current employees happy to be there? If it is known throughout the industry that your organization has a great culture with happy employees, more top candidates will also want to work for you. Measuring employee satisfaction will help you to understand how your current employees feel.  Word-of-mouth is a powerful recruiting tool.

5) Networking. Passive candidates value relationships. Reach out to them.  Be sure to personalize your message to them and ask a question to invite a response.  If they are not interested in making a move now, keep them in your contacts and regularly check in with them.