Building a talent pool of skilled candidates is an essential part of any in-house recruitment strategy.

But how do you keep those passive candidates actively engaged with your organisation in between hiring spells?

  1. Keep in touch with relevant job alerts

We maintain that communication is the cornerstone of excellent candidate experience. That’s just as true when it comes to passive candidates.

Encourage candidates to register for job alerts. You should be able to set search parameters in your ATS, which means candidates can choose to receive relevant job alerts based on criteria like location, sector or salary.

When you post new jobs, passive candidates will automatically receive alerts that are relevant to them.

  1. Ask passive candidates to update their profiles

Storing passive talent in your database is all well and good – but not if that candidate data has become irrelevant or unreliable.

A way around this is to create a form in your ATS and send a link to candidates, which they can use to update their candidate profile with skills, experience, location and more.

The benefits of this are twofold. The updated profile is sent back to your Application Tracking System, meaning you should have more confidence that applicants’ data is up to date. It’s also another clever way of keeping in touch with passive candidates, and ensuring that they feel valued.

  1. Maintain a careers social account

Creating a ‘Careers@…’ Twitter, Facebook or Instagram account can prove effective in attracting talent and complementing recruitment campaigns.

Social media can also help you maintain engagement with passive candidates. Even if you’re not currently hiring, consistent updates will contribute to enhancing your employer brand and will reinforce to passive candidates that your organisation is a great fit for them.

Think ‘behind the scenes’ videos, photos from staff socials and updates from current employees.

  1. Offer candidates an ‘insider view’

If you have an internal newsletter, consider sharing this – or an edited version – with passive candidates, particularly the ones interested in those hard to fill or costly roles. This will help strengthen candidates’ understanding of your organisation and company culture.

Keeping in touch with passive applicants via a newsletter (which should be able to be sent automatically using your ATS) helps to maintain consistent levels of communication, and will signify that you place value on your passive candidates.

Ultimately, finding ways to communicate regularly with your talent database will help to keep passive candidates engaged.

But ensure that your communications have purpose.

Whether you’re contacting passive candidates with a request to update their profile information, or sharing relevant news across your social channels, maintain focus on the value to your organisation and potential employees.

Find out more

How you can measure quality of hire

5 ways to improve your interviews

The 4 cardinal sins of career sites

About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.