Before we start, we have to face the truth and accept that proactive talent pipelining is on everyone’s recruitment lips. It is a worrying fact that there are not enough candidates going around for everyone in the Czech Republic, not to mention the other countries in central and eastern Europe.

There is a huge reality parked right in front of our building door and can no longer be ignored and that is that every year more and more companies are wanting to fill their pipelines with talented and qualified candidates. For us in the recruitment industry, we have to be asking ourselves, why every single company seems to be opting for going after passive candidates already employed rather than the ones actively seeking jobs?

According to HR Today Magazine, only a mere 15% of employees are actually satisfied with the job they have. And although this data is probably not the only reason why we are all on the HUNT for passive candidates, it certainly strengthens the theory that a currently employed candidate gives the business a guarantee that he/she will perform in the right way, will deliver what is expected and will almost certainly be a corporate match. Besides, there is also the peace of mind for the business that a candidate will bring with them all the necessary hard skills they have obtained from other corporations back yard which is also appealing. So, it is no wonder that interest in passive candidates is continuously on the rise. It some situations it has even gotten to the point where the business is often having to defend their “passive-candidate-first” preferred hiring option in front of senior management but that is a slightly different story for another time.

Passive candidate talent is so crucial to every corporation that businesses are even prepared to wait for them to become available rather than taking the risk with candidates from the open market.

But how do you know which candidates are interested in what you are selling versus those who are just window shopping? Or if they will use your job offer to pimp their contractual conditions up and then leave you hanging out to dry after making you wait for nearly 2 months?


Usually, the most complicated problems can be solved first with simple solutions. And our years of experience have taught us that in the case of attracting passive candidates, the first place to start is with data.

Not long too ago, LinkedIn conducted a group poll with two groups of professionals. One of their survey questions asked those who were employed what it would take for them to accept a new job and then compared their answers to what actually motivated candidates to change employers.

Some of their findings indicated that although compensation and benefits package ranked near the top on the motivational list, the reality is that opportunities for career development clearly tipped the scale as illustrated in the graphic below.

To back this up, we, at People Place, conducted last year an internal survey among 100 candidates where we asked passive candidates who declined offers why they did so. The top three reasons candidates in our survey gave for NOT being motivated to accept were:

  1. Career advancement was not sufficient
  2. Compensation was not satisfactory
  3. Work life balance

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Once we have gathered all the necessary data for use in the evaluation process, we all need to sit down, HR and Hiring Managers and discuss the killer topic, ‘Do you have what it takes to bring them home?’ Do you have the right EVP with our EB? If you don’t, you will have to face the reality that there are some aspects of the business that you can easily change overnight if your company doesn’t already offer them and there are others that will be met with resistance.

With strategic questions tailor made from the data you obtain and your unique EB, your recruiters can have more meaningful dialogue around the key motivations for making a move, so you can customise the EVP within your capabilities and hopefully bring the candidate home to your organisation.

To improve building your passive talent pipeline you should have your recruitment team include the following questions in their screening process:

  • If you could do anything for a job, what would you be doing?
  • What do you love about what you are currently doing?
  • What would you change, if you could?
  • What aspect of this opportunity sparked your interest?
  • What would you need to see in this opportunity to make a change?
  • How will you be evaluating this opportunity against others?

The next step is to consider how you can incorporate, at least at the very basic level, your key motivator findings into not only your value propositions but job postings and even candidate phone screening conversations. But do not make the traditional mistake of thinking that “one size fits all” and remember that every candidate is different, so tailor the message appropriately and make sure your hiring managers and recruitment team actively listen to the candidates because, without it, all efforts will be in vain.

This post was written by Tomas Cides Jimenez, Managing Director at People Place.

Tomas joined the Group in 2007 as a Senior Recruitment Consultant, and has been successfully working his way up to his current position. Becoming responsible for entire business operations within Central Europe and Western Europe. Working closely with managers at all levels in the clients’ portfolio to ensure the business delivery and client satisfaction is always at highest standards. To follow Toma’s blogging articles you can subscribe by clicking the box on your right or register with us.  Or why not connecting with Tomas on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn. 

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