With demand exceeding supply for skilled tech and digital talent, recruiters and hiring managers are having to turn to alternative sources to fill the mass of tech vacancies in the pipeline.

With many desirable active job seekers already having been snapped up, we are turning to passive candidates to fill the vacancies of our clients.

So what exactly are passive candidates, and once we have them in our sights, what can we do to tempt them away from their existing employer?

What are passive candidates?

Some job seekers are actively searching for a new role. They are open to being approached about new opportunities and welcome a conversation with recruiters about new jobs that may be of interest to them.

Others aren’t. These candidates are what we call passive. They may be employed already or be one of the growing number of economically inactive people choosing to step back from employment.

How do you attract passive candidates?

Here are some ways in which Ignite Digital can help you attract those candidates who aren’t looking for new opportunities.


Approaching a passive candidate is all about showing them that the grass is greener. Spending time researching your candidate and where they work will pay off when you are able to trump the hand of their existing employer.

When you are approaching a passive candidate, you need to make sure they will be suited to your job. This will automatically make your approach and communications more personalised.

Using social media and corporate material, you may like to find out

  • What they may be being paid.
  • How long they’ve been at their current employer
  • What does this package offer that they may not already be getting?
  • What experience do they have that makes them a great fit for your job?

close up of male hands typing on a laptop keyboardping on a laptop

Offer a competitive salary.

Post pandemic, salary alone doesn’t have the appeal it once has. However, what you are offering needs to be competitive and in line with industry benchmarks.  Research what the regional variations on your role are and, if you can, make sure that what you are offering is at the higher end.

Consider your working arrangements.

In an age where candidates know that hybrid and remote working is an option, you must try to accommodate some form of flexible working options. Flexible working may include remote or hybrid options. It also may look like 4 day weeks or split shifts.

If you want to secure and retain passive candidates, there must be efforts to incorporate long-term, flexible working policies.

Are you worried about how remote working may affect your company culture? Don’t be. Read our advice

Showcase your company culture and values.

Passive candidates will need to know that the values and company culture are genuine and authentic. To help recruiters sell your company, organisations must make sure its brand culture and values are consistently represented in policy, action, and communication.

Candidates are growing increasingly aware of company values and how they are being implemented through policy into workplace.

This may refer to inclusion and diversity, gender equality initiatives, work-life balance or any other aspect of your brand that makes it a nice place to work.

Find out which core values will attract top talent here.

Leadership and team relationships.

When looking to attract and hire passive candidates, your current team are your biggest asset. If past and existing staff speak highly of a company, it will create a positive overall impression. You may like to encourage existing team members to leave reviews on reporting sites such as Glassdoor. Positive reviews may be the deciding factor to a candidate weighing up whether to accept a new job offer.

Ignite Digital recruitment partners have networks that go back years. We have placed today’s tech leaders in their first role, and now they come back to us to find their teams!

Our network is full of passive candidates that span the tech, digital and data space. Reach out today to find out more about how we work.

About the author: As Client Relationship Director, I am responsible for helping grow the new and existing client base of Ignite Digital. I work as a “trusted connection” with my clients and candidates aiming to deliver the best service I can to connect talent to opportunity.

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