How to Appeal to Different Types of Candidates

If you are a recruiter, we are sure you would agree that there are many different types of candidates, and no two are the same. You therefore have to adopt different approaches to make the most of your search. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, as one thing that could attract one group of job seekers may completely push away another.

This LinkedIn article outlined that while the two most common types of candidates are active and passive, there is a lot of grey area in between: “The fact of the matter is that you’re really just trying to find the best candidate, and that candidate may be unemployed, employed but looking, employed by not looking, or employed and not open to a new opportunity. You won’t know until you find and speak with them.”

These are the most common different types of candidates you will come across in the hiring process, and how to appeal to each of them effectively!

Active Candidates

An active candidate is someone who is looking for work and is at some stage in the hiring process. Sometimes this means employed but wanting to move on to something new, and sometimes it means unemployed and needing a job in general. Either way, active candidates make up about 25% of the workforce, but account for the majority of hires made because like recruiters, they are also on a mission to secure a great placement.

People that are actively looking for work are going to be searching for it in different places than people who are not. The most common way to appeal to this type of candidate is by making great job postings with strategic SEO consideration and keyword integration so that your jobs are visible both on your website and through online searches. In general, this group of candidates is easier to attract. But remember, you are recruiting in a candidate-driven market – they may need a job, but they still have a ton of leverage.

For example, once you do get a hold of some qualified candidates through your job board, make sure to stay in touch with them: about half of job seekers say the most frustrating thing about the hiring process is the lack of communication from employers. You want to do everything you can do not upset or take for granted the small group of qualified, active job seekers.

Passive Candidates

Passive candidates are a little harder to attract, since they are not in the headspace of looking for a new position. Even though a majority of hires come from active job seekers, this is not a group to push aside – they account for ¾ of the global workforce!

Because they do not have the idea of a new job at the top of mind, appealing to passive candidates is where recruiters get to be more creative with their approach. One of the most effective ways to connect with passive job seekers is to create a unique and intriguing online presence; social media is your friend when tapping into this talent pool.

Make posts surrounding your employer brand and company culture and do so with a recognizable personality. Create content around your company and open positions that is memorable, so that when these passive job seekers start to transition into a more active search, yours will be the one that stands out in their mind.

Candidates that are Somewhere in the Middle

Sometimes, you will encounter candidates that are somewhere in between passive and active; they aren’t necessarily on the job hunt but are not completely opposed to the idea of a new job, either.

These candidates in the middle, sometimes referred to as ‘tiptoers’, often ask around their personal networks for intel on new positions, so using your current employees as ambassadors for your company is a fairly effective way to get inside their ears. Implementing a referral program or making a splash at networking events are good methods to get your company’s name out into the open. You want to try to sway them in your direction as soon as they begin to make their way towards an active search, but without coming on too strong and aggressive.

Do you have any questions about how to effectively appeal to different types of candidates? Leave them in the comments below!

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