3 Tips on Approaching Passive Job Candidates in 2016

Recruiting Tips
Thursday, Sep 22, 2016
3 Tips on Approaching Passive Job Candidates in 2016

Strong talent pools of passive candidates ensure that a company always has a pipeline of talented and qualified candidates to select from when a job becomes available. Passive candidates are the people that are willing to entertain a job offer but aren’t actively seeking a new position. According to a recent iCIMS study, 52 percent of survey respondents would be open to a new career opportunity if contacted by a recruiter with a relevant opportunity, even if they weren’t actively seeking a new job.

You can make it simple for passive candidates to submit basic information and opt-in to automated email campaigns via a Recruitment Marketing Automation or CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) tool. Sending automated personalized, branded communications based on what talent pool they belong to makes passive candidates more likely to think of that organization when ready to apply to a job. Automating this process with a recruitment marketing automation tool enables employers to maintain a constant pool of warm candidates, reducing cost per hire and time to fill.

Here are three tips on how to approach passive candidates with email campaigns.

1. Use Relevant, Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines

The subject line is the first thing a recipient sees before deciding to open an email.  This is the greatest opportunity to make a first impression and convince your audience to read your message.  Create subject lines that your audience would find relevant, such as mentioning a specific location, and avoid words or phrases that are often seen as spam like all capital letters or too many special characters. 

2. Include a Call to Action 

Make sure each email you send has a purpose, or a “Call to Action” (CTA). The CTA is what you want the reader to click and continue down a conversion funnel. Use CTAs to encourage candidates to apply to a new job opening, learn more details about a networking event, or fill out electronic forms and surveys. 

3. Test Different Delivery Days and Times

Consider the time an email is scheduled to be delivered. With some experimenting, you may find that changing the time emails are delivered will help increase your open rates. When experimenting, think about your audience and when they would be accessing their email accounts. Are they currently college students? Working hourly? At the office 9-5?


With iCIMS Connect, recruiters can use email campaign and reporting technology, to communicate with passive candidates on a recurring basis, encouraging them to apply to job opportunities or register for networking events. Then, iCIMS tracks relevant metrics such as opens, clicks, and number of applies to provide insightful information that facilitates the refinement of email campaign messages over time.

To learn more about recruitment marketing, read our eBook Recruitment Marketing: Fad or Future?