Many Michigan companies are dealing with talent shortages right now, due in large part to record low unemployment rates. But while there may not be a lot of people actively looking for work, passive candidates can be a solution to a company’s labor issues.

Passive candidates are people who are currently employed, possibly by your competitors, that are open to a new job but aren’t actively looking. They might be interested in hearing about job openings from friends and family or they might follow their favorite employers on social media, waiting to jump on the right situation. Understandably, they want to be sure that leaving their current job won’t come back to bite them.

With around 51 percent of employed people open to changing jobs, a savvy business should be able to draw in applicants from other companies. To locate these applicants, however, you’ll have to do more than just post a job opening on the internet.

Below are a few ways to reach candidates that aren’t actively looking for a new job.

Review your “on file” resumes

We’ve all had hiring managers tell us we’re not the right applicant “at this time, but we’ll keep your resume on file in case something else comes up.”

If your company keeps resumes on file, that file can be a fantastic source of passive candidates. Past applicants who were not chosen may still be open to working for your company, provided the rejection was done thoughtfully. Review your files for people who are qualified for your open position, especially those who were offered a job but turned down your offer. If an original offer was rejected due to the low compensation, make sure your company can afford to make a significantly higher offer before making contact.

Establish an employee referral program

Current employees can be a great resource for prospective applicants, as the people they know may be good for your open position but not good at job searching. If you give staff members an incentive to recommend those in their network, there’s a greater chance they’ll refer somebody that is qualified and open to applying.

Furthermore, your current staff members know your company’s culture and mission, so they’ll have an easy time figuring out if any of their contacts would be a good fit.

To encourage participation, offer an appropriate reward for referring someone who becomes a successful new employee. Bonuses, paid time off, and other incentives are all good choices. While incentives do cost money, they can be cheaper than advertising on a job board.

Attend networking events

Industry conferences, training events or social events are all great places to find passive candidates. Even if you don’t meet anyone with the skills and experience necessary for your open position, meeting people at these events expands your network and grows your talent pipeline.

Need help hiring?

At Cornerstone, we specialize in connecting our clients to the talent they need to achieve their organizational goals. If your company is currently looking for staffing assistance, please contact us today.

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