How to Attract Passive Candidates Using Digital Marketing By Kelli Schutrop

  By Anonymous  |    Thursday October 28, 2016

Category: Expert Advice, Technology


Do you have a difficult time attracting passive candidates? If so, you’re not the only one. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate in May of 2016 was 4.7%, which is the lowest it has been since August of 2007. 

These low unemployment rates lead to companies having a difficult time finding and attracting talent. However, it’s not for lack of trying; there simply aren’t as many good candidates readily available today. Hiring managers and recruiters might post a job and receive either very little response or many unqualified responses, leading to a waste of valuable time.

As a marketing firm that works with staffing companies – and thus see their clients’ hiring behaviors – we’ve noticed that companies are fleeing from the traditional avenues of attracting talent. Hiring managers are tired of not getting results from traditional avenues and no longer view job boards as a viable option to find someone “good.” In fact, many won’t even attempt to use job boards and will either give up completely or look at other options to be successful.

Naturally, the “other option” that’s best for the staffing industry is to hire a staffing/executive search/consulting firm to help them locate their difficult-to-find candidates. If you are called upon to help fill their search, how do you then go about finding the passive candidates that they have not been able to find? 


Search Your Network

It’s a no-brainer that you’ll want to first begin with your network. If you recruit for one type of industry role, or are centralized in one specific market, you’ll have a group of existing relationships that you can tap into. Whether you know the right person for the job, or can ask your existing network to tap into their networks to help you, you’ll have a good place to start. 

Optimize Your Job Postings

So you already have a great start with your network, but what about the jobs you post to your recruiting firm’s website or to external job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed, or Dice? Do they actually attract the right candidates? One of the best ways to make sure you’re attracting the right people is by optimizing your postings. Think about the keywords your ideal candidate might search for to find your job, and make sure they are represented a few times throughout the job posting. Also make sure similar keyword phrases are represented in your posting. It may feel redundant, but it will be helpful to the job board’s search engine, which will result in more candidates’ eyes on your job. 

Optimize Your Website

Once a candidate sees your job posting, they may go to your website to learn more about your company. Does your website do a good job of telling the story of why they should work with you to find their dream role? Make sure your website includes credibility, not only for future clients, but also for future candidates. This may include information about the types of candidates your team typically works with or how your background makes you an expert in their field. Candidates want to know that you are their best shot into their dream company or job. 

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

As a recruiter, you live on LinkedIn. Have you viewed your LinkedIn profile from the perspective of a candidate? Do you appear credible? Do you look like you care about their success, as well as your own? It’s helpful to list the roles you’ve successfully placed, and include recommendations from past placed candidates who have enjoyed working with you.

The above are a few ways to stand out to passive candidates within your industry. We often see recruiters and owners of staffing firms spending time on their company and personal brands to make sure they stand out to their potential clients, but naturally, candidates are half the equation of a successful placement. Make sure your brand, message, and overall online presence tells the story that you are equally interested in high-caliber candidates’ success. 

What other best practices are you implementing to drive qualified, passive candidates? We’d love to hear what you’re seeing in the market.

About the author:

Kelli Schutrop is the Sr. Client Services Manager for Parqa – a digital marketing agency specializing in the staffing industry. Parqa was born within a $25 Million executive search and consulting firm, Versique Search & Consulting, and now helps staffing firms nationwide attract, engage, nurture, and convert qualified clients and candidates, and accomplish their business goals. Parqa is led by seasoned marketing experts with agency and staffing backgrounds that create first-class marketing campaigns for staffing, perm, consulting, and recruiting firms. Learn more about Parqa for Staffing: Connect with Kelli at 


Previous Page
Article Search