Recruiting 101: Passive job seeking and how it enhances your visibility and exposure to companies

Aug 20 / Thomas Bartelsen


Are you tired of endless job applications and research? It's time to switch to passive job-seeking! You can attract potential employers and job opportunities without actively searching by simply putting yourself out there. Here are some tips to help you become a successful passive job seeker. Let's get started!

Active vs. passive job seekers

Regarding job seeking, there are two types of candidates: active and passive.

1. Active job seekers are actively searching for a job and sending out applications.
2. On the other hand, passive job seekers are currently employed but open to new opportunities.
Now, according to a recent study, there are further distinctions to be made to illustrate the willingness to change.

There are four levels in that study where they have been asked how they are looking.

1. “Yes, I actively look” ranges in between 15-25%
2. “Yes, I am open to change but not actively” searching ranges in between 30-40%
3. “Yes, I occasionally browse” ranges in between 25-35%
4. “No” is relatively stable at around 15%

While both types of job seekers have their benefits, passive job seekers are becoming increasingly sought after in the recruiting world as the amount of actively looking candidates needs to be more significant.
Additionally, they are not in a rush to find a new job, so they can take the time to find the right fit.
To reach passive job seekers, companies can utilize CV databases, talent pools, and social media platforms like LinkedIn and XING. Offline options like meetups or industry fairs are great ways to connect with passive job seekers.

Benefits of passive job search

Passive job seeking has become increasingly popular in recent years and for good reason. One of the most significant benefits of passive job searching is that it allows you to explore new job opportunities without the pressure of actively searching for a new job. By updating your LinkedIn profile or attending industry events, you can attract the attention of recruiters and potential employers looking for candidates with your skills and experience. This can lead to exciting new job opportunities you may have yet to consider. Another benefit of passive job searching is that it allows you to build your professional network and stay up-to-date on industry trends and developments. By attending events and joining online communities, you can connect with other professionals in your field and gain valuable insights that can help you advance your career. Overall, passive job searching is a great way to stay open to new opportunities and build your professional network while maintaining your current job and avoiding the stress of an active job search.

CV databases, talent pools & job agents

CV databases and talent pools are excellent resources for recruiters looking to fill positions with passive job seekers. These databases allow recruiters to search for candidates based on specific criteria, such as job title, location, and experience.

Let´s start with examples for each category. A CV database, such as Stepstone´s, gives you high visibility on employers actively looking for talent, i.e., with active sources. However, their main disadvantage is that they are not specific.

Now, if you want something more specific to your needs, you should check out the Talent pools (example here ) of your preferred employers. Let´s say you want to work for Roche, but they don´t have an open vacancy. Then, you can sign up for their talent pool and await contact.


Talent pools are similar to CV databases, but the recruiters of the respective company themselves create them. Recruiters can use these pools to keep track of potential candidates who may not be actively looking for a job but could be a good fit for future positions. From a recruiter´s perspective, this is VERY resource efficient as the candidates are already engaged, and you don´t have to wait. 

A job ad alert is also available if you wish to keep the data private. If you're looking for a job, a job ad alert can be helpful. It's a message that tells you about a job opening that fits your needs. You usually get the news by email or text. The message will tell you the job title, company, where it is, and how to apply. 

Again, this could be on company-specific websites or

- Via Google

- On Linkedin

Job ad alerts save you time because you don't have to search for new jobs. You can set up alerts that will tell you when there's a job that matches what you're looking for. That way, you can apply for the job quickly and easily. This increases your chances of finding a job that fits your skills and interests.



Linkedin and XING

You may not actively seek job opportunities as a passive job seeker, but you still want to keep your options open. This is where LinkedIn and XING come in handy. Both platforms are designed to help professionals connect, share information, and build their networks.This is an opinion here, but I deleted my XING account and opted for LinkedIn only, although I wrote my bachelor's thesis about how to be found by employers on XING.

Regarding user statistics, we have a situation regarding members that clearly illustrates what´s happening. Linkedin is at 21 million users in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. XING has the same.

Both platforms allow you to create a professional profile, showcase your skills and experience, and connect with other professionals in your industry. You can also join groups, participate in discussions, and follow companies that interest you. Recruiters often use LinkedIn and XING to search for potential candidates, so having a solid presence on these platforms can increase your chances of being discovered. Ensure your profile is up-to-date, and use keywords relevant to your industry. You can also use LinkedIn and XING to research companies, learn about job openings, and connect with current employees. LinkedIn and XING are potent tools for passive job seekers who want to stay connected and open to new opportunities.

Both offer functions to be found quickly. XING offers a variety of options here as well.

Likewise, you should follow companies that you are interested in on LinkedIn. Why? An active source that uses LinkedIn recruiter ( a product to find you) might use a prefilter to identify candidates that already are engaged with your brand (THAT MIGHT BE YOU). 

Companies like Zalvus or Honeypot that prefilter for employers

A pro tip on how to be seen by many employees is job area-specific portals (in this case, technical jobs) such as Honeypot. They work for plenty of companies and pre-vet and assess you. Your benefit is that you get interviewed once and then prefiltered by their team if chosen as part of an “exclusive” database. Then, it works like Bumble. You´re the one to decide whether you accept approaches from recruiters.

Additionally, there are prefilter companies such as Zalvus. Their main benefit is that they give you so much information upfront, and you know whether it´s a good match. It´s pretty much like complete documentation on all relevant questions. Then you can apply and get prefiltered and assessed by them. Remember to use the auto-translate function of your browser here.

Offline options such as meetups or industry fairs

Passive job seekers often rely on online platforms like LinkedIn and XING to showcase their skills and attract recruiters.However, offline options such as meetups or industry fairs can also be a valuable resource for those looking to expand their network and explore new job opportunities.

Attending these events allows passive job seekers to connect with industry professionals, learn about new trends and developments, and potentially even meet with recruiters face-to-face. Additionally, these events offer the opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals and form meaningful connections that can lead to future job opportunities.

In other words, it might connect you directly with a relevant hiring manager or someone who can make an introduction for you. Remember, many companies have employee referral programs. That means an employee gets an incentive, such as money, for making (successful) introductions that lead to a contract.

While online platforms are undoubtedly convenient, it's essential for passive job seekers also to consider the benefits of offline networking and make an effort to attend industry events whenever possible. Yet, industry events might be cost-intense. Formats such as meetups are a straightforward way that is way more informal. Meetups are everyday ways to meet up with like-minded individuals. The focus is on a specific subject, but the setup is always casual.

 

By combining online and offline strategies, passive job seekers can increase their visibility and maximize their chances of finding their dream job.

1. Update your LinkedIn profile and attend industry events to increase your visibility and attract potential employers. This can lead to exciting new job opportunities you may have yet to consider.

2. Utilize CV databases and talent pools, such as Stepstone's or your preferred employer's, to connect with recruiters and potential employers looking for candidates with your skills and experience. This is a highly resource-efficient way for recruiters to keep track of potential candidates who may not be actively looking for a job but could be a good fit for future positions.

3. Attend offline options such as meetups or industry fairs to expand your network and potentially meet with recruiters face-to-face. This can lead to forming meaningful connections that can lead to future job opportunities. Also, meetups are generally informal and cost-effective. Combining online and offline strategies can maximize your chances of finding your dream job.



What can you do today?


By combining online and offline strategies, passive job seekers can increase their visibility and maximize their chances of finding their dream job.

1. Update your LinkedIn profile and attend industry events to increase your visibility and attract potential employers. This can lead to exciting new job opportunities you may have yet to consider.

2. Utilize CV databases and talent pools, such as Stepstone's or your preferred employer's, to connect with recruiters and potential employers looking for candidates with your skills and experience. This is a highly resource-efficient way for recruiters to keep track of potential candidates who may not be actively looking for a job but could be a good fit for future positions.


3. Attend offline options such as meetups or industry fairs to expand your network and potentially meet with recruiters face-to-face. This can lead to forming meaningful connections that can lead to future job opportunities. Also, meetups are generally informal and cost-effective. Combining online and offline strategies can maximize your chances of finding your dream job.



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