• Becoming Active with Passive Job Seekers

    Posted by Kristen Young on May 5th, 2023

    If you’ve been searching for the perfect candidate, you’ve probably asked yourself a handful of times – Where do I find the right candidate or does the right candidate exist? With these questions in mind, it’s important to fully understand the current candidate pool and be aware that these top-notch individuals are often already employed and can be classified as passive job seekers. That being said, it doesn’t mean these individuals are not open to the idea of a better opportunity if it presents itself. 


    Breaking Down the Candidate Funnel



    Identifying Each Group 

    • Passive Job Seekers are working individuals who are not actively searching for new jobs. These candidates encompass in-demand skills and experience, making them desirable to all employers, not to mention making them even more difficult to recruit.
    • Semi-Active Job Seekers are individuals that are somewhat interested in finding a new job but are not constantly looking for one. This category is open to the idea of new opportunities but would need a good enough reason to make the jump.
    • Active Job Seekers are individuals actively seeking new employment opportunities. These candidates are easiest to attract, as they frequently browse job boards, engage in calls from recruiters, and share their resume with many companies willing to look.  


    Why Focus on Passive Candidates? 

    While you should focus on the entire candidate pool, it’s also important to know that roughly 70 percent of the global workforce is made up of passive job seekers, so attracting this specific audience is crucial when seeking new hires.  

    Studies show passive candidates tend to stay 21 percent longer in a role than active candidates. This helps reduce early turnover costs and improves the chances of your new hires exceeding in their new environments, making them even more in demand. These types of candidates also bring a lot of value and benefits to their new roles. As a rule, new hires who come from other companies have a more stable history of employment compared to applicants who are going through a period of unemployment.  

    So how do we engage these qualified candidates who aren’t actively job searching? With so much value in recruiting this group, it is important to know where to start.  


    Utilizing Display Advertising  

    One of the strongest strategies for reaching passive job seekers is through display advertising. To keep passive individuals engaged, it is necessary to establish an ongoing relationship with them. Display advertising allows you to do this by simply publishing banner ads on 90 percent of the internet, which includes websites, apps and other online platforms that your ideal candidate frequently visits.  

    This strategy allows you to target potential candidates based on their online search behavior. If you are, for example, looking for a part-time Paramedic, you can target candidates that have recently searched for “now hiring paramedics” or “how much do paramedics make.” The targeting options for display advertising are extensive and will definitely contribute to quality hires.  

    Also, placing display advertisements and sponsored content on websites and platforms that gain traction will help with overall employer brand awareness and capture candidates who aren’t typically applying for new roles. With the right creative and brand messaging, your ads can stand out and resonate with the right people. 



    To be blunt – the perfect candidate won’t just walk through the door and solve all your recruitment needs. You will need to identify your passive audience and strategically target them through specific strategies such as display advertising. In addition to display advertising, there are a variety of strategies you can layer into your efforts. These may include direct mail, utilizing social media, implementing strong employee referral programs, and exploring other tactics. By focusing on identifying, engaging and converting potential passive candidates, our team at NAS can help you deliver the right messages to the right target audience. 

    Get in touch to start a conversation on how we can partner together to enhance your digital strategies and give insight on other efforts for your organization to reach passive candidates to fill your recruitment needs!  


    Kristen Young

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