Discovering the magic behind attracting passive talent

Important takeaways from this blog:

  • How to make the best out of your career page
  • Advice on employee referral program
  • How to “brand” the jobs
  • Engage the community to reach new talents

A million-dollar question that a lot of companies are asking right now is how to attract the people that aren’t even looking for a job. If, for any reason, this sounds easy, let’s face the truth – it is not. The talent market has never been only about the active talents but also about the passive ones. Some companies realized this a long time ago and started designing various strategies to attract and hire these candidates. Today, this differentiates them from other companies in the market and allows them to spend fewer resources, specifically time and costs when finding new talents.

The purpose of attracting passive talents is to make them interested in your company and culture without waiting for them to apply to your job ad when there is an empty seat.

In case you are wondering why would it matter to design strategies and invest so much time and effort into attracting the passive talents, here are a couple of answers:

  • Enlarging your candidate pool. With good strategies, passive candidates will turn to you instead of you chasing them.
  • You will get their attention even if they are not looking for a job. And then, they will be ready to send you their CV even when you are not asking for it or expecting it.
  • You can find and hire talents before your competition does. While your competitors will probably be focused on the existing pool of active candidates, you will be able to find great talent with your focus on passive candidates.

Now that we know WHY it is important to have strategies for attracting passive talents, let’s discover the magic that some of the companies who do this successfully apply in their strategy. 


If you don’t have it – it’s the first thing to do. A career page is a great way to directly show candidates the benefits of working in your company. Think of all the benefits that your company offers and be creative while presenting them on your career page. If you are not sure whether you included everything, check with your employees. There is a chance they add some benefits that you didn’t have the chance to notice. 


PS. People have different needs. Check what your company offers when it comes to remote work, free food & drinks, sport activities, healthcare, salary bonuses, days off work, technology at the workplace, etc. Don’t forget that a good design of the career page is also important.


While reading through your career page make sure the visitors can see all the job positions that exist in your company and a short description for every one of them. Provide a click button where they can send their CV at any time if they are interested in any position. In this way, you will fulfill your candidate pool without spending time and effort to actively search for them. Remember, this process should be candidate-friendly which means easy to do. 

Bonus tip: for those candidates who want to make it done even faster, add a possibility to simply link their Linkedin profile to any of the positions. It makes your career page more trendy and cool. 

Know how to stand out! Just like you want your candidates to dazzle you and get your attention, do the same for them! Not many companies include a salary range on their career pages when talking about available job positions. By doing this, you will make sure that all the candidates who sent you their CV are already familiar with the salary and ready to accept it.

Source: Toggl


Enhance the application process to attract passive candidates and make it funny!

People love to explore their skills and knowledge through various short tests on the internet. Wouldn’t it be great if your company’s career page provided such a test that everyone can check to assess their skills and send you their results instead of sending a standard CV?

This would appeal to a lot of passive candidates who somehow found themselves on your career page. Such tests are an indirect call to action aimed at the passive talents who can reach you easily and apply to job positions faster while being entertained.


Does your company already have this program? If not, why?

Employee referrals are one of the best ways to find talents easier. Your employees can do that for you and help the company hire faster thus saving costs of an empty place. For this, make sure your employees are happy with the company, that you cultivate their well-being, and would be glad to recommend it to their friends and acquaintances. Only satisfied and engaged employees will actively contribute to the quest for talents, spread positive words about the company, and may introduce you to the next bright mind!

If you are searching for a couple of advice on this program here they are:

  1. Define how it will work
  2. Define the perks that the employee who finds the best candidate (whom you hire) will receive
  3. Define the way you will introduce this program to the employees and make it a part of the company culture.

Add value to this program with various referral tools that some of these apps offer. 


Whether your company seeks IT professionals, or HRs, salesmen, marketing managers, etc., a small piece of the magic behind attracting passive candidates proudly stands within this strategy. Create content/events for your ideal candidates and attract them by hosting talk events where there will be discussions about the latest trends in your industry. Make sure you regularly host such gatherings and promote them accordingly. This might bring in people who just want to hear more but in the end, they decide they like what you do, your company’s passion and ask whether there are any open positions to apply to.

If you host these events, besides the main topic, make sure you include a short and interesting story about why your company is successful the way it is, why  the company culture is different from others and what the best qualities that you see in your current employees are.

If you can – feel free to give a little sneak peek into how the offices look like and some of the benefits that the company offers to employees. People love success stories and companies who appreciate their employees!

The essence of these events is to demonstrate your company’s expertise and build relationships with the community.


While a lot of HRs and CEOs focus on creating memorable brands out of their companies, few of them think about branding the jobs themselves.

Want to attract passive talents? You will have to convince them to check the job ad you posted and to apply. But, how to make things more interesting here?

Add a bit of spice called “Branding the job”.

Instead of only describing job description and requirements as usual, here’s what you can add to your job ads on social media and your career page:

  • Describe the impact that this job position makes for the company/society/industry
  • Tie the job duties to your company’s mission
  • Describe the benefits that this job brings to the employee

Make it short, but clear and interesting and easy to read.


Create an occasional marketing campaign where you will ask the community and your followers on social media to type in the comments or send you by email some of the major accomplishments in the industry they made that they are proud of.

Explain that as a company you want to share and celebrate everyone’s success in the industry and want to encourage the community to think out of the box!

Include the fact that your team or CEO will go through all the received answers and will pick TOP 10 to share with others and congratulate on. This can attract people who haven’t yet heard of your company and make them interested to follow you and check for open positions or it might affect top talents who are already employed to participate in this amazing campaign and pay attention to what effort and value your company brings to the industry.

Attracting passive talents is not easy. 

While all of these strategies can bring you numerous advantages, bear in mind that all of these take time. Also, it is better to start now than never.

No one enjoys spending a large amount of money, time and effort trying to find the best people for the vacant positions as soon as possible. It is always better to have a source to turn to in such cases, passive candidates pool being one of them.

Remember, it is all about the employer branding of your company, the relationships with the community and the job branding. In the era of rapid changes in the development of technology, talent market, social media, etc. it is important to be innovative and proactive.

Good luck!

Author: Aleksandra Fuštić, HR WORLD



The HR WORLD organization, as a community of HR professionals in the Adria region, aims to transform the HR function from a former Human Resources to a modern, more innovative and humane business function with strategic influence.

HR WORLD builds links between academia – universities, individual faculties, career development centers, various professional / youth associations – and the business community by influencing a more dynamic flow and merging of theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of Human Resource Management.

Our slogan is “Better HR for a better world”.


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