In today’s job market, recruiting passive candidates is more important than ever. Recruiters need to develop new strategies for sourcing passive candidates and effectively engaging them through various mediums.

According to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has now hit 3.6%. For perspective, that’s the lowest it’s been since December of 1969.

Altogether, it’s great news for the country. However, this news will cause many recruiters to wring their hands. Recruiting candidates was already difficult, especially those with in-demand skills. Finding the right candidates can often require long hours. However, hiring managers expect their reqs to be filled regardless of the current job market. It’s a recipe for stressed and overworked recruiters.

Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that unemployment will keep dropping. In November of 2016, when the unemployment rate hit 4.9, economists said it couldn’t go much lower. The same thing happened in January of 2017, and yet here we are.

In short, recruiters can’t count on the problem going away soon. Instead, recruiters need to develop new solutions to this issue. We have to apply new strategies to source passive candidates.

Sourcing Passive Candidates

Low unemployment means there are a lot less active candidates on the market. If we’re struggling to fill a position, we have to think outside the box. One of the best strategies for finding better candidates and filling roles faster is sourcing passive candidates.

Of course, sourcing passive candidates is harder. You can’t rely on post and pray. Likewise, they certainly won’t be reaching out to you. Finding these candidates is tricky, but it can be done. At Qualigence, we leverage unique research techniques to identify passive candidates who would otherwise be inaccessible. Most recruiters rely on online tools to find candidates. We take the process a step further by calling companies to get names, titles, contact information, map out org charts, and more.

Our in-house research team allows us to find and verify information on passive candidates. Lastly, we call candidates themselves to qualify them for the position and confirm their interest. Granted, it’s a little extra legwork. But when active candidates aren’t walking through the door, we must be proactive in our searches.

Engaging with Passive Candidates

Savvy recruiters know that identifying candidates is only half the battle. Once we’ve sourced passive candidates, we have to get them to respond.

Sending an InMail and an email isn’t enough. For example, less than 20% of LinkedIn users use the site daily. It’s a poor solution for engaging with candidates. The best recruiters are leveraging other social media platforms to reach passive candidates. They’re using Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram to contact professionals.

Furthermore, if we have accurate contact information on-hand, we can text candidates. Texting achieves response rates up to nine times higher than email alone. Of course, it’s unprofessional to communicate extensively via text message. Instead, recruiters should drop candidates a brief note about checking their email for information about a job opening. Using these different mediums in concert is a surefire way to get through to these hard-to-reach passive candidates.

When the Going Gets Tough…

As recruiters, we can’t change the job market to better suit our needs. What we can change is our approach to the situation. In order to better serve our clients and keep filling positions, we must take a proactive approach to the situation.

Besides, some of the best candidates for a given role are passive candidates. They’re already gainfully employed and honing their skills in a position. Recruiters have a choice. We can wait for active candidates…or we can get creative and recruit some great passive candidates.

The right people, empowered to perform.