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September 12, 2018 5:34 AM

3 Key Components of the Perfect Passive Recruitment Funnel

To a recruiter, passive candidates are gold. They are good at what they do (they’re in a job after all), employers love them, and unlike active candidates, they’re not looking elsewhere for a new role. But attracting their attention takes quite a bit of effort.

There are various techniques that you can use to get your company noticed by these candidates with superhero-like reputations, and we explained some of those before in our post about passive candidate attraction. But today we’ve decided to go one step further and explain exactly what a perfect passive recruitment funnel should look like.

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Remember the golden rule

Before we get down to business, we feel it’s important to restate the golden rule of passive candidate recruitment – Don’t sell the job.

Your passive candidates aren’t looking for work, so they don’t want to hear anything at all about benefits, job satisfaction, or even career prospects. So don’t sell them a job as they’ve heard it all before and quite frankly, they’re not even interested.

Passive recruitment is all about the conversation and engaging your passive candidates in some way is the primary goal of your efforts.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at what that your funnel should look like.


The three stages of your passive candidate funnel

A recruitment funnel is quite simple really. You attract your candidates, convert them, and then you close the deal. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that, but those three steps cover the recruitment process in general.

But when it comes to the recruitment of passive candidates, we need to need to go back a little further than mere attraction. Remember, these candidates aren’t looking for work so they’ll never see those job postings in the first place.

So where do we start?

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 Build Awareness

Awareness is where it all begins, but as you may have guessed by now, it’s not about awareness of available roles or even the fact that you might be hiring in the near future. It’s about brand awareness.

Building a positive brand image is now seen as the cornerstone of recruitment and with very good reason. Did you know that employee turnover can be decreased by 28% by simply investing in employer branding or that 70% of candidates feel that an employer’s brand is hugely significant?

Pretty interesting stats and so it makes sense that this is where you should focus your efforts at the top of your funnel. Create a solid brand image by sharing positive content and actively highlighting employee success stories on social media. If you’ve got a great work culture (and you really should), then promote that too. Anything goes, once it’s not an obvious effort to attract new hires or a thinly veiled attempt to flesh out your pipeline with potential candidates.



Once you have the attention of those passive candidates, then it’s time to engage them. Now, we’re not talking about filling in applications forms or even getting them on the phone, not even close! What we’re talking about here is an extension of your earlier efforts.

Your passive candidates should already have an idea about your employer brand, and now it’s time to follow that up with some very subtle mentions of the perks of working within the company.

A solid health plan, a positive attitude towards employee engagement, sponsored training programs; whatever perks and benefits you offer should be clearly listed somewhere on your website. However, as you know, passive candidates will not go looking for this information. Social media posts about an employee who graduated from a program or one who is working from home are great ways to promote these perks without looking too much like the work of a recruiter with reqs to fill.

You can also engage passive candidates by proving the company is innovative and forward-thinking. You don’t need to be an industry leader but showing that the employer brand takes an active interest in the latest news and developments and that it has an informed opinion on such matters is a good step in the right direction.



Now all that’s left to do is convert those candidates, right? Well, we’re not quite there just yet. Remember, these potential new hires don’t want to be sold a job, so you’re not going to slide into their DMs and send a link to an application process (as if you’d do something like that!)

If your passive candidates have made it to this point in your funnel, then the chances are they are following your social media accounts and are fully on board with your employer brand. They understand the positives of working with the company, but in all honesty, they probably haven’t even considered the possibility of doing just that.

And then up pops your latest social media post in their newsfeed. A short post explaining that you’re hiring for a new role and inviting potential candidates to ask for more information. Those who are ready to be converted will no doubt ask for that information while those who aren’t will simply pass right by.

You get high-quality leads that have a genuine chance at becoming your next hires while your passive candidates don’t even know that you have planned this all along.


Yes, we know that this isn’t the end of your complete recruitment funnel but in terms of turning passive candidates into solid leads, you’re pretty much done and your passive candidates are now part of your pipeline.

Need a little more help fleshing out that pipeline with high-quality candidates both passive and active? Then you know what to do. Hit the button below and one of our sourcing consultants will be in touch.

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