February 20, 2023


Passive sourcing might be the answer if you want to streamline your recruiting efforts. You’ve probably heard of it in some capacity or another, but how can passive sourcing help bring in top passive talent? And what kind of results can it produce for your organization?

In this blog post, we’ll explore an introduction to passive sourcing and learn how businesses are using it today to boost their teams successfully. We’ll also uncover ways to make the most out of its impressive capabilities through proactive strategies that will save time and effort while improving candidate quality.

Get ready for a recruitment revolution – let’s dive into passive candidate sourcing.

Definition of Passive Sourcing

Source Passive Candidates

Passive sourcing is recruiting candidates for open roles who have yet to apply for the position actively. Recruiters often search databases, job boards, and social media platforms to locate potential hires that are not active job seekers.

It’s a useful technique in letting recruiters expand their passive candidate pool beyond those already applying. This technique is about gaining access to a larger passive talent pool and attracting the right people to your organization, even if they’re not looking for a new job position.

To do this, recruiters use digital marketing tactics such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), advertising, and other targeted campaigns. By leveraging these tools plus more traditional methods, recruiters can identify passive job seekers with the specific skills needed for their role.

Benefits of Passive Sourcing for Recruiting Efforts

1. Cost-Effective

One of the primary benefits of passive sourcing is that it is a cost-effective way to recruit candidates. With passive candidate sourcing, you do not need to pay as much for advertising or other traditional recruitment methods. You can also save money on staffing agencies or headhunters by sourcing candidates.

2. Time-Saving

Another benefit of passive sourcing is that it can save you a great deal of time. With traditional recruitment methods, you may need to sift through hundreds or even thousands of applications.

With passive candidate sourcing, you can target specific individuals who are likely to be a good fit for your company culture based on the job description, which can save you a significant amount of time in the long run.

3. Access to a Wider Pool of Candidates

With passive sourcing, you also have access to a broader pool of passive candidates than you would with traditional recruitment methods. This is because you are open to candidates who are actively seeking employment and you are looking to source a passive candidate.

Instead, you can reach out to individuals who may not be looking for a new job but would be interested in your company and learning about the hiring process if they knew about the opportunity.

4. Increased Engagement with Candidates

Another benefit of passive sourcing is that it can help you to increase engagement with employed candidates. When you reach out to individuals directly, they are more likely to remember your company and feel positive about your employer brand. This can make it more likely that they will accept a job offer if one is extended.

5. Improved Employee Retention

Finally, passive sourcing can also lead to improved employee retention rates. This is because individuals who are recruited through this method are more likely to be a good fit for the company and have a positive attitude toward the organization.

Additionally, these employees are less likely to leave their jobs within the first year, which can save your company money in the long run.

Different Passive Sourcing Strategies and Techniques

Sourcing Passive Candidate

Passive sourcing is an effective way for recruiters to find quality active candidates. Recruiters can use several strategies and techniques to make the most out of their passive sourcing efforts. Such as leveraging employee referral programs, keeping an eye on social media, and attending networking events.

Building relationships with college representatives or alumni networks can be a great way to unearth potential passive talent who may not even be actively looking for work. It is important to have a well-defined plan when approaching people; this could include taking notes during calls, following up within the agreed timeframes, and screen recording sessions where possible.

Lastly, job boards or employment websites can be useful for locating passive candidates who may not yet be aware that you’re recruiting.

Examples of Companies That Have Successfully Utilized Passive Sourcing

1. Amazon

Amazon is one of the world’s largest online retailers, and it has successfully utilized passive sourcing to build its massive workforce. The company’s HR team regularly scours the internet for potential candidates, as well as leveraging its extensive alumni network. Amazon also utilizes LinkedIn and other job boards to find high-quality talent.

2. Alibaba

Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company, has also utilized passive candidate sourcing to build its business. Like Amazon, Alibaba uses job boards and alumni networks to find potential active candidates. Additionally, the company has a dedicated team of recruiters who actively seek out passive talent through networking events, industry conferences, and even personal referrals.

3. eBay

eBay is another online retailer using passive sourcing to build its business. The company has a dedicated sourcing team who use social media and other online platforms to connect with potential candidates. They also leverage alumni networks, job boards, and industry events to find the right people for their positions. Additionally, eBay encourages employees to refer friends and family members as potential candidates. Ultimately, through these methods, they are able to quickly identify top talent acquisition.

Best Practices for Implementing Passive Sourcing in Your Passive Candidate Recruiting Process

Sourcing Passive Talent

1. Define your target candidate.

The first step in implementing passive sourcing is to define your target candidate. This means taking the time to determine the skills, experience, and qualifications required for the position you are looking to fill. Once you have a clear idea of the type of candidate you are looking for, you can begin to identify potential sources of candidates.

2. Identify potential sources of candidates.

There are a number of potential sources of candidates for your open position. Some of the most common sources include online job boards, social media sites, and professional networking sites.

You can also reach out to individuals in your professional network who may be able to refer qualified active candidates.

3. Develop a plan for reaching out to potential candidates.

Once you have identified potential sources of passive candidates, you need to develop a plan for reaching out to them. This may involve sending sourcing email or InMails, connecting with individuals on social media, or attending industry events that potential candidates are likely to attend.

4. Be prepared to sell your company.

You must be prepared to sell your company as a great workplace when reaching out to potential candidates. This means clearly understanding what makes your company unique and what benefits it can offer employees. You should also be prepared to answer any questions potential candidates may have about the open position or the company itself.

5. Keep track of your progress.

As you reach out to potential candidates, it is important to keep track of your progress. This includes keeping track of the individuals you have contacted, when you contacted them, and whether or not they expressed interest in learning more about the open position.

Keeping track of this information will help you gauge the effectiveness of your passive sourcing efforts and make necessary adjustments.

6. Follow up with interested candidates.

Finally, once you have identified some interested active candidates, be sure to follow up with them in a timely manner. This may involve scheduling phone or video interviews, sending additional information about the open position or company, or extending an offer of employment.

Challenges to Consider When Using Passive Sourcing Methods.

1. Time-Consuming

One of the primary challenges of using passive sourcing methods is that they can be time-consuming. For example, if you are using a job board to source candidates, you will need to review resumes and interview candidates. This can be a significant investment of time, especially if you are looking for a specific skill set or experience level.

2. Limited Candidate Pool

Another challenge of using passive sourcing methods is that the potential candidate pool may be limited. For example, if you only search for candidates that are not actively looking for work then you will have to break through the noise to get their attention. This can make it difficult to find qualified candidates who are not actively seeking new employment.

3. Difficulty Targeting Specific Candidates

Targeting specific candidates can also be difficult when using passive sourcing methods. For example, if you are only searching for candidates on job boards, you will need to post your job opening in a general category (e.g., “engineering”).

This makes it difficult to target specific types of candidates (e.g., mechanical engineers with experience in the automotive industry).

4. Costly

Another challenge of using passive sourcing methods is that they can be costly. For example, if you are using a recruiter to help you, source candidates, you will need to pay their fees and any advertising costs associated with posting your job opening. This can be a significant expense, especially if you are looking for multiple employees.

5. Requires Patience

Finally, it is important to note that using passive sourcing requires patience. Finding the right candidate using these methods can take weeks or even months. Therefore, it is important to have realistic expectations and be prepared to invest the necessary time and resources into your search.

Tips on How to Make the Most Out of Your Passive Sourcing Efforts.

Find Passive Candidates

Utilizing passive sourcing is a great way to reach potential candidates you may not have identified through traditional job postings.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of your passive sourcing efforts, consider using the potential of LinkedIn and other social media platforms to share open positions and create broad knowledge of your organization’s employment opportunities.

Additionally, ensure your own career website or job board is attractive and engaging to draw in passive job seekers with engaging content. Lastly, ensure that your online presence accurately reflects your company’s core values to attract individuals who will be great brand ambassadors for your organization.

With these tips in mind, you can easily turn passive networking into an exciting and effective way to find top talent.

Difference Between active sourcing vs. passive sourcing.

Active and passive sourcing are two different methods for acquiring talent for a company. Active sourcing is a proactive approach to finding the best candidates for a role, using various online platforms, such as job boards and social media networks, and other strategies, like attending career fairs.

Passive sourcing is more of a responsive approach, which involves exposing non active candidates to apply via postings on job boards or websites that list open positions. By evaluating both approaches, companies can determine which method works best for their needs and can give them the ability to attract top talent quickly and efficiently.

How do I create a sourcing plan for recruitment?

Creating a sourcing plan for recruitment is a critical part of any successful recruiting effort and can help organizations achieve their hiring process goals. Passive sourcing is an effective way to source candidates who may not be actively looking for a job.

When creating a sourcing plan for recruitment, it is important to create a strategy that focuses on your organization’s needs. Consider what skills and experience you need, where potential candidates might be located, and what networks or platforms you’d like to target. It’s also essential to consider the resources and time you can commit to your recruiting efforts.

Once you’ve developed a strategy, it’s time to start sourcing candidates. Passive sourcing is an excellent way to reach out to potential candidates who may not be actively looking for a job.


Passive sourcing is a powerful and effective recruitment tool that can help you attract qualified professionals to join your team. While it certainly requires dedicated effort and some trial and error, the returns are worth it. Today’s best companies leverage passive sourcing techniques and are making the most out of their talent pool. This article will also help with Strategies to successfully recruit passive candidates.

It’s also critical to remain conscious of potential challenges facing this approach. All these issues can be managed with a proactive approach toward implementing best practices in passive sourcing. Overall, passive sourcing can bring immense value to your recruitment efforts if used thoughtfully and consistently over time.

About the Author

Michael Glaubitz

Michael has over 22 years in Public Safety but has always had side jobs. From Logistics to Real Estate, Finance, and Staffing there have been many experiences. These all lead to Social Selling and Marketing as both a Salesperson, Small Business Marketer and Recruiter. By combining all of this experience with an innate desire to serve others he plans to deliver more value than you can handle.

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