If you think a job search may be in your future, you’ll want to know about passive hiring.
Due to increasing pressure from employers to hire the best talent, recruiters are searching for candidates who are currently employed, but not actively looking. Instead of posting ads online, only to be flooded with 100’s of potentially unqualified candidates, progressive organizations are getting smart about cherry picking the talent they want in their organizations.
Some companies do this successfully through internal employee referral programs, which can be a form of passive hiring. Some companies comb LinkedIn and other social media sites to find interesting talent, or attend industry conferences and other professional events where they can meet potential candidates.
You likely know that over 70% of open roles aren’t advertised, and you can bet that many of the most sought-after and highest paid roles are being filled by passive candidates.
There are several benefits to being a passive candidate:
- Access to more opportunities
- Less (or no) competition
- A more personalized interview process
- The leverage of being courted versus being the court’er
- Ability to negotiate a competitive compensation package
- Avoiding typical job search hurdles and frustration (e.g., long applications, being ghosted)
So how do you get on the short list of a company’s targets and become a passive candidate? Follow these:
- Do great work. Companies seek out top professionals in their fields, so step one is being stellar at your job.
- Build your brand. Doing great work isn’t enough – others need to know about it. Not through boasting, but rather through contributing. Become a recognized expert on social media through posts or comments, speak on professional panels, take on leadership roles in industry associations, create a website, and keep your LinkedIn updated.
- Expand your network. The more people who know your brand, the more likely your name is to come up when a company is hiring for someone with your expertise. Stay engaged, both in your field and in personal circles. Remember, most people land jobs through 2nd level contacts.
- Get on the radar. Connect with recruiters and key industry professionals on LinkedIn who work for companies you might consider. Follow them on Twitter, and engage at conferences. The best time to do this is when you’re not looking, as the relationships can develop more organically.
- Remain visible. Life gets busy, but be careful not to drop out of sight. Technology makes it easy to stay in front of your network. Engage a strategy that works for you to be top of mind when that next opportunity arises.
- Be open. Even if you’re not looking, when you’re active, engaged and curious, people bring you information. Always explore further since you never know how something might evolve. And hey, if a role isn’t right for you, perhaps you can recommend someone in your network and help them out?
You’ll know your strategy is working when recruiters or members of your network begin to reach out with opportunities. Not all will be a fit, but many may be worth an initial conversation. Perhaps now isn’t the best time for you to move, but two years might be. Building your pipeline of potential roles will ensure you continue to be a valuable passive candidate.