Oftentimes, the best candidates – the ones you are looking for – are passive candidates – people who already have a job and are not actively looking. But this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t consider an offer if it were presented to them.

In fact, about 85% of the workforce considers themselves a passive candidate – some are actively looking, others are passively looking, and others would consider offers.  If you are only recruiting people who are currently looking for a position, you could be missing out on a huge pool of potential candidates. The truth is that many companies are in this position. According to the LinkedIn Talent Trends 2015 Report, only 61% of companies recruit passive candidates.

Why Companies Shy Away from Passive Candidates

Passive candidate

Why do so many companies fail to effectively recruit such an important segment of the talent pool?

  • Passive candidates tend to be more difficult to recruit
  • They can be more challenging to connect with
  • They can require more time and persuasion
  • They often hold out for the right offer
  • Companies are not sure how to approach passive candidate recruiting


Even with these potential drawbacks, improving your ability to attract and hire these candidates can significantly improve the talent in your organization.

What Motivates Passive Candidates


The key to having success with passive candidates is to understand what motivates them. Armstrong Appointments put together an infographic that outlines some main motivations to attract passive job candidates. They include:

  • Better compensation and benefits
  • Better work/life balance
  • Greater opportunity for advancement
  • More challenging career
  • A job that is a better fit for their skill set


Some of the least motivating factors include job title, office location, and relationship with their manager.

What Are the Best Ways to Recruit Passive Candidates?

Knowing what motivates them is only half of the equation. You also need to know how to recruit them. According to Armstrong, a candidate may be most interested in changing jobs when they have been with their current company for 2-3 years.

The best way to attract these candidates is through:

  • Employee referrals
  • From their professional network
  • Through social media
  • Via Google and search marketing


If you are looking to improve your hiring efforts, especially in the area of passive candidates, a recruiter in Toronto is a valuable resource.

Here are some great blog posts from our recruiters:

Fascinating Recruiting Stats That Will Change How You Hire

A Headhunter’s Guide to Lateral Hiring

Have You Tried Peer-to-Peer Recruiting?


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm in Toronto. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations and Mining & Engineering. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us

Gary Hinde Technology Recruiter

Gary Hinde

Gary is a Partner and Practice Lead of one of Toronto's most respected team of IT recruiters. He has a strong background in building and managing teams, and specializes in contract and permanent placements within the IT space. With over 15 years of IT Sales and Recruitment experience, Gary is committed to customer service and has a genuine love for working with people and solving business problems.

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