Passive Sourcing: Everything You Need to Know


When most people think about sourcing, they picture active candidates. Job boards, social media platforms, and employee referral programs probably come to mind, but there is another way to find top talent — passive sourcing. By targeting passive candidates, you can expand your pool of potential employees and improve your chances of finding the best possible fit for your company. This guide will discuss the basics of passive sourcing and how you can get started today.

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What Is Passive Sourcing?

Passive sourcing refers to the process of reaching out to and engaging with candidates who are not actively looking for a new job. In some cases, these candidates may be happy with their current job or unaware that your company exists. However, these passive candidates can often be an invaluable source of high-quality talent; after all, they have the proven skills and experience needed to do their job well. Reaching passive candidates will take a different outreach strategy than what you use for active candidates.

Did You Know: 85% of employed people say they would consider switching jobs if they are offered the right environment and incentives. Most are willing to come on board; they just need a reason to make the leap.

Why Is Passive Sourcing Valuable?

To be successful in recruiting in today’s space, hiring managers need to look outside their active candidate pools. Through passive sourcing,  recruiters can find and connect with candidates that they might have previously overlooked. Passive sourcing is highly valuable for several reasons:

  • You expand your candidate pool — by including talent that isn’t actively looking for a new job, you can expand the network you tap into for filling open positions.
  • Candidates are proven as high-quality employees — since these candidates are not only happy in their current position but are performing to a high standard, you can trust that they are skilled and willing to stick around your company for a longer period of time.
  • You can improve employee retention rates — by showing you are proactive and invested in your current and potential employees’ futures, you can directly increase employee sentiment and retention.
  • There is less competition — since passive candidates are not actively browsing job boards and career sites, there is less fierce competition in outreach and recruitment.

Let’s Put It In Perspective: 70% of the global workforce are classified as passive candidates.

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How To Start Passive Sourcing

The first step to creating a passive sourcing strategy is to clearly identify the target candidate. Who are you looking for? What skills and experience do they have? Once you’ve got a clear picture of who you are looking for, you can start reaching out and connecting with them. There are a few different ways to do this:

Social Media

Always remain respectful and professional in your communication on social media. You do not want to come across as spammy or pushy. The best way to connect on social media is to create a relationship with the candidate first. You can do this by engaging with their posts and following them on social media. Once you’ve established a rapport, you can reach out and invite them to connect.

Email Outreach

It is important to personalize your emails so they do not come across as generic or spam. Take the time to introduce yourself, explain your reasoning for reaching out, and demonstrate the value you can provide, whether it be resources, advice, or research on the latest trends impacting your industry.

Networking Events

Networking events are a great way to connect with potential future candidates. By attending industry events, you can meet people within your industry that hold similar interests. Then, you can build out a relationship by connecting on social media, exchanging business cards, and staying in touch after the event ends.

Fast Stats: Passive candidates that are hired are 120% more likely to positively impact your company than active candidates. Compared to standard candidates, passive candidates are also 17% less likely to need skills development when onboarding.

What’s Next?

By following these tips, you can create a successful passive sourcing strategy that will help you find top talent for your company. For more information on how to source and secure passive candidates, visit!