Searching for candidates to fill open positions can be tough when the job market is as hot as it currently is. Unemployment levels are at record lows. The pool of candidates actively seeking jobs is not deep as a result.

One strategy is to recruit passive job seekers – those who are not actively looking for open positions. You may have passive job seekers at your fingertips if you dip into the pool of past candidates. Unfortunately, roughly 33 percent of human resources professionals don’t look at past candidates. Yet past candidates can be a rich source of building a strong network of potential hires.

How can you re-engage with past candidates to build your network? Here are five tips.

1. Keep in touch consistently

The best way to grow your network is to never fall out of touch with qualified people. If a candidate isn’t chosen for a particular position, keep their contact information. Reach out if you have an opening close to their skill set and qualifications.

But if you don’t, keep in touch in a professional and friendly way. Send holiday cards if appropriate, or follow-ups on the anniversary of when you first saw them.

2. Develop and send content of interest to passive job seekers

Developing a short newsletter with salary or hiring trends in the area, for example, would capture the interest of many, because most people are concerned with job market trends. You might include fun features, such as the best spots for hiking of bicycling in the area.

Develop content that could be emailed to them at regular intervals, such as every month.

3. Connect on LinkedIn

The fact is, the job market is mobile. You may have the current contact information for past job candidates, but it doesn’t necessarily stay up-to-date unless you work at it.

A good way to stay up-to-date is to connect on LinkedIn. That way, if you want to reach out to discuss a position, you’ll have the most current contact information and their most current position.

4. Target your information

As your network grows, it’s likely you’ll find it segmented. You may keep in touch with past candidates in very different jobs. Some may be responsible for childcare and very interested in part-time or flexible work, while others are interested only in full time.

Be sure to target the content you send to these groups so it is of interest to them. A short email that is not relevant to their skill set or interests is not likely to serve its purpose of re-engagement! You may need to develop short segmented newsletters for each group as it evolves.

5. Track the engagement

To re-engage appropriately, you’ll need to track the engagement your communications and follow-up receive. A quick survey in a newsletter on salary or benefits, for example, lets you know the newsletter has been opened and read.

There are also software solutions that will let you know whether email is read.


Need help in hiring?

At Expert Staffing, we’re happy to provide a number of comprehensive recruitment strategies for both active and passive job seekers. To find out how to use our services and find qualified candidates in your industry, contact a consultant today.