How to Successfully Recruit Passive Candidates on Social Media

May 23rd 2018


If you expect talent to be available on demand, you could be in for a nasty shock when it’s time to expand or backfill a position. As many as 68 percent of companies have positions that they cannot fill due to a lack of qualified candidates on the market.

The mistake made by so many organizations is to have a purely reactive recruitment policy, only thinking about sourcing talent when they have a vacancy to fill. Modern employers need to always be recruiting, which means engaging with potential candidates on the internet and social media.

It also means looking beyond the pool of active job-seekers. According to one worldwide survey of ManpowerGroup, 37 percent of all workers are “continuous candidates” who are always looking for their next best job opportunity. These people are passive candidates.

They are not actively job-seeking, but they would be interested to hear about potential opportunities in your company. Often, these are the best possible hires as they have skills and up-to-date experience. So how do recruiters go about making contact with passive candidates on social media?


The 3 key steps to Social Success are:


1. Build a Strong Employer Value Proposition (EVP) for recruitment

It’s much easier to recruit talented people if you have a clear understanding of who your ideal candidate is and what their motivational factors are for changing jobs. Building a unique Employer Value Statement is essential to stand out from the crowd on social media.

An Employer Value Statement will help you to provide value at each stage of the Candidate Journey and help your company create a firm foundation and focus to attract the most prospective candidate in the job market. But remember that social media isn’t a one-way street and communication needs to be interactive. The content that you share needs to be of value to people – sharing useful articles relevant to your industry, for example, makes your social media account a must-follow for the kind of people you want to attract. You also need to talk to your followers and start on-going meaningful conversations with them. These conversations create engagement and help you identify potential candidates faster.


2. Segment Candidate Data in compelling Talent Pipeline

Social Recruitment is relatively new and is mainly used to gather a list of names of potential candidates that you can contact when a vacancy becomes available. By using this new method and requesting the candidate to apply, we are still using traditional recruitment methods without benefiting from the real value and potential of this media.

The real goal of Social Media is creating meaningful relationships at scale. In order to do that you will need a robust system for capturing data from your social media interactions, such as the person’s social media profiles, any other contact details and a history of your interactions with them. Usability of data is also important, especially if your social media accounts have a large volume of interactions. Where possible, break the data down into fields such as location, job title, skills and stages of the candidate journey. This allows you to target messages related to vacancies, and targeting is a crucial part of social recruitment. Highly skilled staff can receive dozens of generic recruitment emails each week – you need to reach out to your targets with a message personalized to them.


3. Make It as Easy as Possible to connect

Imagine you are one of the candidates. You hear about a position, either through a targeted message or publicized on the employer website. What are your next steps? Is it easy to contact the recruiter or hiring manager or do you have to jump through a lot of hoops?

Because passive candidates are not desperate for a job, they value transparency and openness, which is facilitated by creating a dialogue with individuals at every step of the recruitment process. In order to implement a successful social media strategy, you have to start thinking about the omnichannel approach to recruitment. Where candidates have more way’s to communicate with the right person in the company. And you are able to provide the same displayed candidate experience offline.

Social recruitment is about more than just attracting, sourcing, selecting and interviewing candidates. The new social recruiters must provide the best candidate experience, build a powerful Employer Value Proposition (EVP) for recruitment, and create partnerships with the most prospective candidates online in order to drive the overall recruitment success. If time is of the essence to fill a critical position at your company or you don’t have a broader strategic social framework in place, consider using a smart sourcing company.

With the assistance of a smart sourcing company, you can start a conversation with a prospective candidate much more quickly and reduce the overall time it takes to fill an in-demand position. This is a highly efficient and cost-effective strategy for recruiting top talent on social media.

Written by: Sushila Ramkisoensing

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