Passive candidates

Recruiting is like love: The best candidates are already taken and not looking for an adventure. With targeted persuasion, you can still awaken their desire for something new. We call them passive candidates.

It's human nature to want what you can't have. Take advantage of this and find out what the current employer cannot offer his employee. Maybe the passive candidate works in Berlin when he would actually prefer a job in Hamburg. Or he has already had such a stellar career within his company that further growth opportunities are unlikely.

The candidate's profile on the social web provides clues if you manage to read between the lines. In addition, it is a good idea to study the company where the passive candidate currently works. Company culture, working environment, salary and growth opportunities provide information about possible points of contact.

Contact the potential candidate - without any ulterior motives

While active candidates are much more likely to respond to a recruiter's message, the passive candidate truly hasn't been waiting for you. Therefore, be sure to refrain from aimlessly sending mass emails out into the world like so many others.

Instead, approach the potential candidate specifically and present yourself as a nice contact who is worth getting to know better. Write a message in which you show yourself friendly and interested and refer to possible commonalities. First of all, forget for a brief moment that they have a job to fill. Your goal is to get to know the person better and to find further arguments with which you can inspire him or her for a new job.

Fill the gap!

After the initial approaches, you go on the offensive and make the potential candidate an offer that closes precisely this gap. This can be a lucrative salary, more responsibility in a new position or a company with social relevance.

No matter how attractive your offer is, it is not unlikely that the potential candidate will initially turn you down. Don't push him, but show tact and empathy - just as if it were a date. And provide further incentives for him to reconsider his current situation.

Build a network

If the passive candidate remains steadfast, keep in touch anyway. Sometimes recruiting simply takes time. Build your own talent pool over time and nurture your contacts like friends. Because with any luck, the day will come when passive candidates will return to you. Or provide you with a promising new date.


indivHR will be happy to help you with customized tips and tricks to make you even more successful in recruiting.

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We will be happy to advise you and work with you to find the ideal model to make your recruiting even more successful.