Passive Candidates Poaching 2

If you search “recruiting” online, nearly every article mentions one of the following: “the competition for top talent,” “…to win the war for talent,” or my personal favorite, “the skills gap….”

You’ve probably heard by now that the unemployment rate is 4.9% in the United States. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts employment (job growth) will continue to grow through 2022 by over 15 million jobs.

However, things aren’t perfect. Employee turnover in most companies is very high, which means retention is extremely low. Employee engagement and happiness and also average tenure levels are low, with tenure lower than 5 years–not much loyalty there.

There’s lots of competition, there is also a war for talent, and there is a serious skills gap. Therefore, companies have had to make an investment in order to recruit, attract, and retain talent, especially top performers. To be successful, recruiting managers and talent acquisition managers, (strategists and specialists) have to adjust their plans.

So, how has recruiting changed? After examining the latest and most popular trends, here are 4 changes in recruiting.

  1. Social Media. In 10 years social media has made it a lot easier to make a hiring decision and it has continued to grow and gain momentum. There is always a new platform, designed for a new generation of users.
  2. The Economy. As outlined above, things are better, which means it’s a job seeker’s market. There are areas of the job market that are new or expanding, such as clean energy careers, electric car manufacturing, e-commerce, and of course mobile technology.
  3. New Generations. Millennials make up over half of the worlds’ population and they dominate the workforce. Recruiting strategists have to be able to understand their needs and create opportunities to attract Millennials, as well as all the other generations in the workforce.
  4. Passive Job Candidates. They are people who are actually employed and sometimes even happy in their roles, yet they are curious and open to new opportunities. They do not spend a lot of time on job boards or looking new opportunities, but they are poachable.

Because of these 4 things: social media, the economy, generational changes, and passive job candidates, companies have had to invest in qualified recruiting specialists who can source, attract, recruit, hire, and retain the best of the best.

Here are some things to consider.

  1. Recruiting teams will continue to use social media to their advantage; however, it’s the manner in which it is used that has changed and will continue to evolve. In the past, it was used primarily as a tool for checking backgrounds or behavior. Now it’s being used to engage top talent and recruit passive candidates by establishing lines of communication via blogs, community pages, and online conversations for transparency. Some companies use social networks exclusively as recruiting tools.
  2. Recruiters have to be more flexible, accommodating, and creative. Jobseeker confidence is high, and this gives them the upper hand in the recruiting process. For example, before, job seekers were told never to discuss salary requirements first. But now, job seekers have the confidence to ask salary questions immediately, which means the recruiting team has to be trained to negotiate and/or control the conversation in a way that keeps the job seeker interested.
  3. The rising role of passive candidates is tied to the rise of poaching. Look at this infographic on Passive Candidates from Social Talent. Poaching is happening to ordinary people, thanks to social media, job boards, LinkedIn, and increased competition. Since today’s top talent is already employed, recruiters must develop a poaching strategy to gain or maintain a competitive advantage.

85% of the global workforce are passive candidates. This supports human resource data on employee engagement/disengagement. Most passive candidates secretly desire more pay and flexibility over big titles, so recruiting strategists can use this data to their advantage when designing new processes to poach high performers from other organizations.

It’s simple, win the “Passive Candidate” and “Poaching” wars, and you’ll win the competition for top talent. Register for our webinar to learn more about how to identify top talent and how skills assessments can provide accurate performance predictions to help determine success.


  • Adamaris D. says:

    There are domains which lack great talent, and it can take years to train a new employee. Recruiters are pushed to look to the passive workforce and research skilled people that would leave their jobs for the right incentive. 

  • Taryn P. says:

    If you work at a company that is losing employees, it is time you get some insight on the reasons people are leaving. The reasons may be common – better salaries, more benefits, higher position – but a strategy to increase the retention rate must be created and put in place. 

  • Mila S. says:

    The term may sound harsh, but poaching is a part of recruiting. Considering that the majority of the work force is passive, poaching will get bigger in the life of HR. HR strategists will develop actions to convince talented people to change jobs, even if those employees never thought to look for a new opportunity.

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