Passive recruitment is based on soliciting potential candidates who are not currently looking for a job but are distinguished on the market by abilities valuable to a given employer. In contrast to active recruitment, which largely focuses on building brand recognition or creating attractive advertisements and announcements, the passive approach is based on conducting a dialogue with selected passive candidates.

Passive recruitment – table of contents:

  1. Hidden passive recruitment force
  2. How to recruit passively?
  3. Benefits of passive recruitment
  4. Summary

Hidden passive recruitment force

Speaking about the recruitment process, we automatically come up with a vision of a group of candidates actively applying for a given position. However, the employee sought by the company does not have to actively look for work at all, on the contrary, he is often already employed in another organization.

This does not mean, however, that he has a skeptical attitude toward new offers, and effective passive recruitment can convince him to change his workplace. Companies looking for specific specialists should not be limited only to active recruitment. This method may seem like the most logical solution, but taking an even broader perspective when planning the entire recruitment process often makes it possible to capture real talent.

Due to its specificity, passive recruitment is distinguished by a high level of planning. Each step must be carefully thought out to efficiently reach employees of interest to the company and convince them to change jobs. Organizations, knowing the profile of the desired candidate, know exactly who they are looking for and can offer favorable employment conditions.

Although passive recruitment in many cases turns out to be a more difficult and demanding solution, it allows you to save time so important for every business. Most often, recruiters conduct interviews or interviews only with specialists they are interested in. Previously done research on the career or achievements of a given employee at the outset allows you to assess its usefulness for the company’s operations and development.

In addition, the employer can prepare well for discussions with a potential employee, having previously determined what, as an incentive to start cooperation, he can offer him. Passive recruitment is also associated with a tendency of employees to stay in a given organization. Moving on to the new company, such people analyze all the advantages and weaknesses of the new offer. As a result, they make a conscious hiring decision that also affects the degree of their attachment to the brand.

How to recruit passively?

A passive recruitment strategy requires detailed planning of all steps. In the beginning, the company should create a profile of the desired candidate, also defining his key qualifications and abilities. After accurately determining the needs, it is time to analyze the market and look for people who meet these requirements. For this purpose, personnel working for competitors distinguished by a similar business profile are verified.

At this stage, platforms such as LinkedIn or Upwork are often used, which, in addition to revealing the professional path, also provide valuable information about interests or passions. Once the ideal candidate has been found, negotiations begin to convince him to change jobs. Various types of marketing activities or employer branding are helpful in the whole process. The recognition of a given company and its evoking positive associations among employees has a good effect on the way it is perceived also by the desired candidates.

As a result, when applying for a new employee, the organization does not have to waste time presenting its activities. Passive recruitment, compared to active recruitment, requires more effort and thoughtful actions from the recruitment company. The basis of this strategy is an extensive network of contacts and the use of an employee referral system, thanks to which the employer reaches the right people with greater ease.

The form of contact with candidates is also important. Recruiters often mistakenly choose to use more personal media, such as private phone numbers or social media accounts. Therefore, from the moment of starting the search for the right employee in the labor market, full professionalism should be maintained, minimizing the risk of scaring the passive candidate.

The biggest challenge is to distract the employee from their current position. To encourage passive candidates to cooperate, it is worth showing them that we appreciate their abilities and guarantee appropriate conditions for development and attractive career prospects. To this end, it is good to prepare a detailed proposal outlining all the benefits and privileges involved in accepting the offer, also taking into account satisfactory remuneration. Such an expression of appreciation may turn out to be a decisive factor in prompting specialists to change.

Benefits of passive recruitment

  • No effort required. Passive recruitment is a process of hiring the best candidates for the job without them applying to it. It is a process that does not require any active effort on the recruiter’s part. Passive recruitment is a method of recruiting that allows employers to find qualified applicants without the need for advertising.
  • Savings. Passive recruitment benefits both recruiters and applicants. Recruiters can save time and money by only focusing on finding good talent while applicants have more time to focus on their current jobs while they wait for an offer from the company they want to work at. Passive recruitment is a cost-effective way of finding new candidates. It can also be more efficient because recruiters don’t have to spend time and money on advertising.
  • Qualified candidates only. Another benefit of passive recruitment is that it can help reduce the number of people who are not qualified for the position. Passive recruitment lets employers know who they are hiring before they make an offer, which eliminates the need to go through interviews with people who are not qualified and saves time in general.
passive recruitment


The passive recruitment process is a way to find the right employees without them actively looking for a job. Passive recruitment strategy is also called “invisible hiring”, which can be an effective strategy for companies who are looking for a specific profile.

The best candidates will not always be the ones who actively search for jobs. Passive recruitment is an efficient way to find the right person with the right skills and experience, while avoiding time-consuming interviews and sifting through CV’s.

Some of the benefits of using passive recruitment are that it doesn’t require any extra effort from the company, it’s cost-effective and it’s less time-consuming than other recruiting methods.

Read also: Gamification in recruitment

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.