How to land the passive job hunter

Change can be scary; apprehension of the unknown is enough to keep us in the status quo. Your next candidate may think they want to change but then fear of the unknown sinks in and before they know it they haven’t taken action and they’ve missed out on a multitude of opportunities.

Recent research conducted by SEEK has shown this is exactly what is happening in the Australian job market. Despite a large proportion of Australians passively keeping an eye on the market (46%), the reality is that only one in three intend to change jobs next year.

The good old shoulder tap, is one way to go, and is becoming increasingly common as new talent sourcing strategies are adopted to keep pace with the changing market. It can also boost the confidence of a potential candidate. However, identifying the right talent in the first place still presents a challenge.

SEEK Talent Search, for example, offers another way to help you source the right candidate by analysing information held within SEEK Profiles and CVs against the opportunity you are looking to fill. Candidates with profiles have indicated their level of interest and the way they are open to being contacted. So whilst they may be passive and not actively looking for your role, by using this information you can create a targeted approach that will help you proactively engage with them in a relevant way. An approach like this puts you in control and on the front foot when you connect with them, saving you time and money during the recruitment process.

Once you’ve identified the right talent, it may take a little more convincing to get a passive job hunter across the line. We know from research that 62% of people settled comfortably in their jobs are happy, compared to just 31% of those actively looking for a new role so it’s important to think about what other tools you have in your arsenal to encourage the right candidate to embrace a change and join your team.

Top tips

• Employment branding – does your organisation have a solid reputation in the community? It’s more likely potential employees will consider an offer from a company they view in a positive light.

• The elevator pitch – make sure you can summarise what the organisation does clearly and what the role will be responsible for succinctly. This is your one chance to spark the interest of potential employees so make your approach as appealing and irresistible as possible. Communicate in a way that fosters a trusting and professional relationship.

• The opportunity – be sure to nail the job advertisement the first time and use language that conveys the true nature of not just the job and skill level required, but also the cultural environment a potential candidate may be looking for.

• Be competitive – your offer needs to be competitive enough to entice potential employees away from their current role. Does it match or exceed the level of salary in their current job?

• Offer security – people generally feel safe in their existing roles and companies. What can your company do to alleviate the risk involved in moving to a new company? For example, introduce them to colleagues ‘like them’ or those who have joined in the last year.

• The induction – once you get them, you want to keep them. Make sure you set them up for success and help them identify some key wins to achieve early on.

Once you’ve considered all of these elements and put your recruiting approach into action, you’ll be surprised by how quickly ‘passive’ can become ‘active'.
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Christian Miran


HR Manager – Product, Development and Strategy

Christian Miran is an experienced HR professional with over 12 years’ experience in generalist and specialist positions, and is currently SEEK's HR Manager of Product, Development and Strategy. Christian has HR experience working across a range of...

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