Top Tips For Tapping Into The Passive Talent Market

Your Opinion
Published: 07.03.23

In a survey published at the end of 2021, tech platform Stack Overflow found that 54% of developers are open to new roles but not actively looking.

Here at Cathcart, this is something we’ve continued to notice in 2023 – and these passive candidates can bring a lot of hidden value to a role. 

Unlike active jobseekers, passive candidates are generally content in their existing position – they’re more likely to switch jobs based on what’s best for their career overall rather than for one particular reason. Plus, they often already have the desired skills and are transparent about their experience since they’re not initially trying to impress you. Much the opposite, in fact. You’re trying to impress them. 

So, how do you capture the attention of the elusive passive candidate? Here are a few tips from the experts at Cathcart Technology… 

1 – Understand and inspire 

Before you can win over a passive candidate, you need to tap into what they want and what they need. Ask yourself: how can you encourage them to make the leap from their current role? Remember that you’re engaging with people who aren’t seeking new employment, so it’s your job to convert them into semi-active or active candidates. 

This is where your approach should get specific to the candidate. Consider where they are in their life and career – for instance, are they a junior front-end developer? Or a senior web3 guru? Take advantage of social media platforms, like LinkedIn, to get to know them and understand their working life to frame an attractive offer. If they’ve been at their current job for a while, perhaps you’ll tempt them with a move up the career ladder.

Not sure where to begin? An experienced recruitment team can help you distinguish sellable points that will make your offering stand out from the competition and cater to your particular prospect.  

2 – Consider the bigger picture 

Money talks, sure. But a market rate is a market rate. Chances are, your offering won’t be too dissimilar to other jobs. So, while competitive salaries are a key part of engaging passive candidates, you need to do more. And for many people, the workplace’s environment can matter more than the paycheck.

Take a look at your company culture and dynamics to identify what will sell you to candidates. Do you offer flexible or hybrid working opportunities? Is your brand at the forefront of cutting-edge tech? What sets you apart?

3 – Make it personal

Since passive candidates are usually happy in their current roles, your opening message needs to really grab their attention. In the tech industry especially, a lot of recruiters make the mistake of being too technical – which can turn off candidates straightaway. 

So, what’s the best way to get a foot in the door? One way to impress is to use examples of their own work – it demonstrates your interest in the person beyond the role and shows you’ve done your research.

It’s also worth asking questions about what the candidate would look for at another company, so you can cater to what they want – and make sure they’re the right person for the job.

Ready to unlock the passive market?

Are you looking for passive candidates? While it can be time-consuming, it’s often well worth the return on investment.

Cathcart Technology works closely with clients to source and nurture the right candidate, for the right job role. Our team has plenty of experience inspiring passive candidates to make the leap to a new company. To get ahead of the competition, speak to our team today

Stuart Manderson Selfie

Business Director - Europe

Stuart Manderson

Scotland, England, Finland

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