It’s a given that at the outset of your search essentially what you really trying to do is to hire is the best candidate. However, in the current market where the war for talent is raging often those candidates can be categorized as passive candidates.

So how do you build relationships and nurture the best talent out there? In many cases, passive recruiting, finding that special someone who isn’t looking, is one of the best skills talent managers can master.

The Truth about Passive Recruiting

Here is the deal. It is highly likely that top talent in your industry is already employed elsewhere. This makes sense, as talented people are usually driven to succeed and do not just idly sit around waiting to be wooed by your company. Top talent is out there achieving terrific things.

However, while they are employed elsewhere and are not actively seeking another position, research indicates that a large percentage of these talented passive candidates could be persuaded to come onboard with your organization, provided you have something with intrinsic value to offer.

LinkedIn’s “Global Trends that Will Shape Recruiting in 2015” notes that in 2014, 75 percent of professionals were open to switching jobs, but only 61 percent of companies were recruiting passive candidates. This means the door to opportunity is wide open for you to find a pool of highly-qualified candidates who are not necessarily looking to be found.

Best Practices for Finding Passive Candidates

If active recruiting is like checkers, then passive recruiting is more like chess. Passive recruiting requires a bit more strategy, but it can be done by following a few timely tips.

1. Build a Better Brand

Passive recruiting is about the art of attraction. First, you must ensure that your branding strategies are working. Your company brand must be recognizable and appealing enough to pique the interest of passive candidates.

This includes your company culture and employer brand as well. Is your organization known as a great place to work? Is it common knowledge that your employees are well treated, valued, respected, and encouraged to advance and innovate in your organization? If so, you are well on the way to success with passive recruiting.

2. Make Social Media Work for You

Social media is perhaps your best tool to find and interact with passive candidates. Engage your social media followers with thought-provoking content that is relevant to thought leaders in your industry. Make your presence known in places where passive candidates are likely to be, like industry blogs and forums, trade magazines, and other likely gathering spots.

Advanced Learning Institute’s “Best Practices in Recruiting Passive Candidates” has this to say about social media: “Reach out through private messaging tools available on social media platforms. Engage the potential candidate in conversation about your organization, the open position you’re working to fill, and ask whether or not they would be interested in learning more. If they aren’t open to new opportunities at this time, always follow-up with a request for any referrals for someone else who might be a good fit for the position you’re working to fill.”

3. Do a Little Spying with Your Applicant Tracking System

Use your applicant tracking system coupled with social media to find hidden gems. Your ATS contains a treasure trove of information about former candidates who, for one reason or another, have not accepted a position with your company.

Mine your ATS for the cream of the former candidate crop, and use social media to research where these talented people landed after their interaction with your organization. In some cases, you can connect with these former candidates and discreetly discover if they are happy with their current position. Sometimes a gentle reminder about your organization may be all that is needed to reactivate their interest in making a career move.

An applicant tracking system with robust search functionality like Thrive TRM will assist you with passive recruiting efforts. With Thrive TRM, the emphasis is on building networks and connections on a continual basis, filling your talent pipeline with the top tier C-suite candidates your organization needs. To see Thrive TRM at work, schedule a demo today.