StumpTimes are tough right now for recruiters. Last year, 83 percent of agency recruiters said it’s a candidate-driven market. Job seekers have more openings to consider, and recruiters need to kick it up a notch in order to attract the best talent.

When I say,”Great talent doesn’t grow on trees,” what I really mean is that recruiters can’t settle for what’s in front of them — the low-hanging fruit, if you will. Recruiters will have to work a little harder and reach a little higher to find the great talent they require. Here’s how they can do just that:

Look for Passive Candidates

Today’s candidate-driven market comes as a result of the improving economy and the fact that baby boomers are retiring from the workforce in droves. As the market tilts more and more in favor of talent, candidates no longer have to work very hard to land new jobs. Because the market needs to cater to them, they’re having an easier time finding better work. They’re not restless or aggravated in their current jobs, because they know great opportunities are just a short hop away, if they want them.

Seventy-five percent of today’s professionals can be considered passive candidates. These are people who are not actively searching out new opportunities, but they also wouldn’t mind hearing about them. This is where you come in. In order to attract these high-level candidates, you’re going to have to be more proactive in your recruiting methods.

Recruiting Year-Round

What does being “proactive” mean, anyway? For starters, it means thinking of recruiting as a going concern. In business, a “going concern” is a company that’s up and running with enough runway for the foreseeable future. This is opposed to a company that has paused or ceased operations, or one that is under threat of bankruptcy.

Approaching recruiting as a going concern means conducting your recruiting activities as if you’ll need a never-ending pipeline of candidates. Good companies don’t wait for a position to open up before they start looking. They build talent pools in advance of their openings so that they have access to candidates before they need them. This helps recruiters assess the demand for their open positions.

Brimming talent pools also help candidates, since 44 percent of them say they need time to assess an employer before applying to a job. When you reach out to candidates outside of your hiring season, you’re planting a seed. Hopefully, it’ll bear fruit by the time you have openings to fill.

Go Social

AppleProactive recruiting also means being more thorough when you touch base with candidates. This means upping your activity on all of your recruiting channels, especially social media. Although 52 percent of companies use social media to research inbound candidates, a lot of companies don’t actively source candidates on social channels. The most active many employers get is simply posting their job opportunities when they become available.

To effectively recruit more passive candidates, you’ll have to use social media a bit more actively. Instead of posting your jobs on your profile and hoping people apply, tap the talent pool you’ve been cultivating all year to find people who might be matches for your positions. Reach out to them directly over social media. Use whatever means you have at your disposal, be it an InMail or a tweet. Convince them that you are the company they are looking for.


Good candidates are rare, and they’re becoming more and more passive every year. Companies need to get more proactive about their recruiting methods by building talent pools outside of “hiring season” and using the latest social channels to recruit candidates more directly. The best candidates may not always be looking, but they’ll be more responsive when you initiate a conversation and focus on building a relationship with them.

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