The Major Flaw In Your Recruitment Strategy

By Nexxt

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Job board use skyrockets on Monday morning. Think about it – people are fresh off the weekend, sitting in cubicles at their lackluster jobs with a long week ahead of them. But once they’ve had some coffee and crank out some work, they slip back into a busy pattern and forget about that new opportunity they spotted online.

These candidates aren’t actively applying to jobs, but they’re not exactly thrilled about their current situation. Things haven’t gotten to the point where they’re looking to move on, but if the right opportunity came around, they’d be on board. This is what we call the passive candidate.

Who Are These Passive Candidates?

So what is the demographic of the candidate you’re trying to reach? Eighty-nine percent are currently employed and 47 percent are established professionals. The majority of passive candidates are in the middle of their careers – ages 30-44 – and are mostly consumed by raising a family and making mini-van and mortgage payments. Between their current jobs, the kids and PTA, there isn’t much time to put a lot of effort into the job search, especially if it’s not dire, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. 

By comparison, it’s no surprise that the largest number of active candidates, or people looking for a new job right now, are entry-level employees! They’re twenty-somethings with nothing holding them down. These candidates are eager to build a resume and advance their career and they’re always on the lookout for a new opportunity to move on and up.

The Uncertain Future of the Job Board

Job boards have long been a primary way for recruiters to reach potential hires, but they have their limitations. In a recent survey, Nexxt found that just 14 percent of professionals reported actively searching for a new job, but a whopping 58 percent are open to offers. This means that employers who rely entirely on job board advertising miss out on engaging with a significant number of potential candidates – 44 percent of candidates to be exact!

Furthermore, Google for Jobs has just entered what is already a very crowded market, which can possibly (read: probably) upset the status quo. Right now Google is offering free traffic to any employer who shares their sitemap with them, so their jobs can appear at the top of Google searches. HR experts are debating the impact this will have on the industry and there’s no doubt Google has made a splash. That said, job boards are not likely to “die,” but the current players in the market will probably evolve, especially if Google pulls the plug on their free advertising.

So what about those passive candidates who aren’t actively seeking out new opportunities? While job board advertising will most likely be the foundation of your recruitment strategy, there are several new tools emerging in the market now to capture this audience.

Today people walk around with their phones in their hands every moment of the day, so text recruiting has been a particularly effective means to reach top talent. Text messaging can be particularly successful when used in coordination with an email campaign. Maybe that candidate forgot about a recruiter’s email, but a follow-up text message could nudge them to start a conversation with a recruiter.

More recent marketing strategies like digital advertising and retargeting have also been successful touch points with passive candidates. When that job ad from Monday morning pops up online on Wednesday, that person might just take the leap and apply for your open position. Who knows – that could be your next top hire.

By using only job board advertising, you’re missing out on a very large talent pool of potential hires who would accept a job offer, but aren’t actively applying to any new positions. Job boards aren’t dead, but there’s a major flaw in your recruitment strategy if you’re relying solely on them. Smart recruiting requires you to look beyond active candidates.


Passive Job Seeker

About the Author

Julie Shenkman is a Marketing and Communications Manager at Nexxt. She has more than ten years of experience in the areas of public relations, social media, online marketing, and sarcasm.

Connect with Julie on LinkedIn at or follow her on Twitter at @JulieShenkman.

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