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Candidate Engagement Techniques for Sourcing Passive Candidates

September 5, 2023

Talent Sourcing: What you need to know

Passive candidates are individuals who are not actively searching for new job opportunities but may be open to considering them if the right opportunity arises. These candidates possess valuable skills and experience, making them highly sought after by recruiters and hiring managers. However, engaging passive candidates requires a different approach compared to active candidates.

To effectively engage passive candidates, it is essential to understand their mindset. Passive candidates are often content in their current roles and may need convincing to explore new opportunities. They may have reservations about leaving their current job, such as concerns about job security or the potential disruption to their work-life balance. As a recruiter, it is important to empathize with these concerns and tailor your approach accordingly.

The importance of engaging passive candidates

Engaging passive candidates is crucial for organizations looking to attract top talent. Passive candidates often possess specialized skills and experience that can make a significant impact on a company's growth and success. By proactively reaching out to passive candidates, recruiters can tap into a talent pool that may not be actively seeking job opportunities but could be open to a change under the right circumstances.

7 Recruitment Strategies That Will Help You Attract Passive Candidates -  The Talent500 Blog

Engaging passive candidates also helps organizations establish long-term relationships with potential candidates. Even if a passive candidate is not immediately interested in a new job, by building a relationship and maintaining regular communication, recruiters can keep them in mind for future opportunities. This strategic engagement can lead to a faster and more efficient hiring process when positions become available.

Key techniques for sourcing and attracting passive candidates

  1. Utilize social media and professional networking platforms: Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be powerful tools for sourcing and attracting passive candidates. By creating engaging and informative content, recruiters can capture the attention of passive candidates and encourage them to explore job opportunities. Additionally, leveraging professional networking platforms allows recruiters to connect with passive candidates directly and build relationships.
  2. Develop a strong employer brand: A compelling employer brand can greatly enhance the ability to attract passive candidates. Highlighting the company's values, culture, and unique benefits can pique the interest of potential candidates. By showcasing a positive work environment and growth opportunities, recruiters can position their organization as an attractive option for passive candidates.
  3. Tap into employee referrals: Existing employees can be valuable advocates for attracting passive candidates. Implementing an employee referral program can incentivize employees to recommend qualified individuals from their network. Passive candidates who are referred by trusted employees are more likely to be receptive to exploring new opportunities.
Top 14 Benefits of Social Media for Your Business

Nurturing passive candidates for long-term engagement

Nurturing passive candidates is a crucial component of engaging them effectively. Since passive candidates may not be immediately interested in a job change, it is important to build a relationship and stay connected. Here are some strategies for nurturing passive candidates:

  1. Regular communication: Keep in touch with passive candidates through personalized emails, newsletters, or occasional check-ins. Share relevant industry news, career advice, or updates about the company to demonstrate your interest in their professional growth.
  2. Offer valuable resources: Provide passive candidates with resources that can enhance their skills or knowledge. This could include whitepapers, webinars, or access to industry events. By offering valuable resources, you position yourself as a trusted advisor and demonstrate your commitment to their professional development.
  3. Provide opportunities for interaction: Invite passive candidates to networking events, industry conferences, or webinars where they can connect with other professionals in their field. These opportunities allow passive candidates to expand their professional network while getting to know your organization better.

Effective tips and tricks for engaging passive candidates

Engaging passive candidates requires a strategic approach. Here are some tips and tricks to effectively engage passive candidates:

  1. Personalize your outreach: Tailor your communication to each passive candidate's background and interests. Show genuine interest in their skills and experience, and explain why your organization is a great fit for their career goals.
  2. Highlight growth opportunities: Emphasize the potential for growth and advancement within your organization. Passive candidates are more likely to consider a job change if they see a clear path for career progression.
  3. Leverage data and analytics: Utilize data-driven insights to identify passive candidates who may be more receptive to job opportunities. Analyze factors such as job tenure, professional achievements, and industry trends to target your outreach effectively.

The role of recruiters and staffing agencies in engaging passive candidates

Recruiters and staffing agencies play a crucial role in engaging passive candidates. Their expertise in sourcing and attracting talent can significantly enhance an organization's ability to engage passive candidates effectively. Here's how recruiters and staffing agencies can contribute:

Engaging Top Talent: Tips for Recruiting Passive Candidates - PharmaLogics  Recruiting
  1. Proactive sourcing: Recruiters and staffing agencies have access to extensive networks and resources for identifying passive candidates. They can leverage their industry knowledge and connections to source highly qualified candidates who may not be actively seeking job opportunities.
  2. Expertise in candidate engagement: Recruiters and staffing agencies are skilled in engaging candidates and building relationships. They can employ personalized outreach strategies, leverage their industry expertise, and provide valuable insights to attract and nurture passive candidates.
  3. Efficient screening and matching: Recruiters and staffing agencies can streamline the screening process to ensure that only the most qualified passive candidates are presented to the hiring organization. Their expertise in assessing skills, experience, and cultural fit can save time and resources for both parties.

Tools and technology for effective candidate engagement

Advancements in technology have revolutionized the way recruiters engage with candidates. Here are some tools and technologies that can enhance candidate engagement:

Recruiting CRM vs ATS - When Do You Need Them Both?

  1. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS): ATS platforms streamline the recruitment process by managing candidate data, automating workflows, and facilitating communication. They enable recruiters to track candidate engagement, schedule interviews, and collaborate more efficiently.
  2. Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) tools: CRM tools allow recruiters to build and maintain relationships with passive candidates. These tools help manage candidate data, track interactions, and automate personalized communication, ensuring that no potential candidate is overlooked.
  3. Video interviewing platforms: Video interviewing platforms enable recruiters to engage with passive candidates remotely. They provide a convenient and efficient way to assess candidates' communication skills, cultural fit, and overall suitability for the role.

Case studies showcasing successful engagement of passive candidates

Case Study 1: Element5

Element5 was struggling to attract top talent for a critical senior management position. Recognizing the need to engage passive candidates, they implemented a targeted outreach strategy. By leveraging their employees' networks and utilizing social media platforms, they identified several highly qualified passive candidates. Through personalized communication and highlighting the growth opportunities within the organization, they successfully convinced a passive candidate to join their team.

Case Study 2: PipeCandy

The company implemented a candidate nurturing program to engage passive candidates. They regularly shared industry insights, career development resources, and networking opportunities with their passive candidates. By staying connected and demonstrating their commitment to the candidates' professional growth, they built strong relationships. As a result, when job opportunities aligned with their candidates' interests arose, they successfully placed them in new roles.

Best practices for revolutionizing recruitment through candidate engagement

To revolutionize recruitment through candidate engagement, consider implementing these best practices:

  1. Adopt a proactive approach: Actively reach out to passive candidates rather than waiting for them to apply. Proactively sourcing and engaging candidates can lead to faster and more successful hiring outcomes.
  2. Tailor your messaging: Personalize your communication to resonate with each passive candidate. Show that you understand their unique skills, experiences, and aspirations, and explain how your organization can help them achieve their career goals.
  3. Build long-term relationships: Focus on nurturing passive candidates even if they are not immediately interested in a job change. By maintaining regular communication and providing valuable resources, you can stay top of mind and position your organization as an employer of choice.

Conclusion: The future of candidate engagement in recruitment

As the competition for top talent intensifies, candidate engagement will continue to play a pivotal role in recruitment. Effectively engaging passive candidates requires a strategic and personalized approach. By understanding the needs and motivations of passive candidates, leveraging technology, and building long-term relationships, recruiters and organizations can revolutionize their recruitment processes and attract the best talent in the industry.

Amidst today’s noisy digital world, brands find it challenging to create meaningful connections with their customer base and target audience. Getting the target consumer’s attention and persuading them to buy from you gets even trickier. Hence, content marketing has become more crucial than ever for brands to attract, educate, and retain customers.

Content creation is a top priority for 80% of marketers, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be. Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts your audience’s decisions through education and persuasion.

Depending on your business goals and requirements, the role of Content Marketers you hire will vary. The primary responsibilities revolve around forming consistent brand messaging and deciding upon a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across various distribution channels.

From raising brand awareness to attracting a relevant audience to your website, boosting social media presence and engagement, generating leads, and building brand loyalty – content marketing drives all the growth efforts for your brand. When done effectively, it can help you:

  • Build positive brand awareness
  • Make your audience stick around for longer
  • Get better traction on social media
  • Gain more trust of your audience than ever
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Boost business visibility with SEO
  • Position your brand as an authority
  • Cultivate loyal brand fans

While content marketing is a broad role with numerous areas of expertise involved, it’s vital to thoroughly understand your company’s current marketing goals and the related requirements. In this blog, we will dive deep into the step-by-step approach to hiring a Content Marketer.

What is The Role of a Content Marketer?

A Content Marketer must be deeply passionate about telling your brand’s story to the world. The objective is to educate and nurture the target audience to establish brand authority using thought-leadership and drive more people to buy from you.

As a candidate is expected to be a mediator between the brand and the target audience, they are primarily responsible for planning, creating, and sharing valuable content to grow their company’s awareness and engagement to bring more business.

To be more specific, the role of a Content Marketer requires a perfect blend of creativity and attention to detail in an individual. It’s a balancing role, as they need to ensure creating content that resonates and strengthens business relationships, using strategies that position your business as authentic and problem-solving.

Take a look at the core responsibilities of a Content Marketer that most businesses expect them to take over:

  • Research and Competitor Analysis: The first and foremost step to creating a content marketing strategy is effective initial research. It not only helps a Content Marketer understand the nuances of the industry through competitor analysis but also study and understand the target audience thoroughly.
  • Building Content Marketing Plans: Once the competitor research and target audience analysis is done, a Content Marketer needs to work on the different plans for all the business objectives, targeted channels, segments of the audience, and the bigger marketing strategy. A content marketing plan typically consists of:
  • Specific goals along with a pre-decided timeline
  • Various channels to be targeted for content distribution
  • Types of content to be created
  • Budget for the entire staff, outsourced services, and paid promotion (Collabs and Ads)
  • Creating Editorial Calendar: Creating, managing, and maintaining a content calendar is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a Content Marketer. It is a centralized visual document that enables effective collaboration among the marketing team and helps Content Marketers ensure on-time production and delivery.
  • Content Creation: Once the strategy and calendar have been approved by relevant stakeholders, Content Marketers need to do the on-ground work. This task usually depends on the scale of your company and content marketing strategy. Suppose an organization already has a set of writers, then the Content Marketer doesn’t need to create content by themselves.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Producing quality content that educates your target audience and resonates with them, isn’t enough. You need to optimize your content creation to make it search engine-friendly. While most companies need a dedicated SEO specialist for keyword research and planning, Content Marketers need to closely collaborate with them and should be well-versed in the basics of SEO.

While the practices discussed above are primary responsibilities of a Content Marketer, they also need to be proactive with

  • Content editing and ensuring adherence to a certain style guide    
  • Continous publishing and distributing content
  • Measuring and analyzing performance

How to Hire a Content Marketer: Step-By-Step?

Content marketing has become the key to driving growth for businesses. Unlike a few years ago, it’s not possible now to get away with a one-person team for content marketing. You need deeply trained individuals for specialist roles.

Let’s now dive into the step-by-step approach of hiring a Content Marketer. But before you even source your first candidate, you should have a clear expectation of the skillset and experience to look out for top content marketing candidates.

Top Must-Have Skills in a Content Marketer

Apart from having relevant industry experience, a good Content Marketer must possess the following skills.

  1. Excellent Writing Skills

A Content Marketer’s prior skillset should be writing excellent attention-grabbing content. From long-form blog posts to website copy, ad copies, social media content, video scripts, emails, newsletters, e-books, whitepapers, and more – a Content Marketer should be able to adapt to the business’s specific requirements and create quality content.

  1. Audience Research

Identifying user behavior is vital for framing the story in the right direction. So a Content Marketer must know how to identify and analyze the needs and pain points to develop a buyer persona. User research can be performed through social listening, relevant communities, in-person calls with customers, analyzing sales call recordings, and more.

  1. Keyword Research

Creating valuable thought-leadership content isn’t enough. Researching the right set of keywords is an essential skill to further educate your target audience on the Whys, Hows and Whats of your business, and have your website rank on Google.

  1. Data-oriented Content

Content that’s not backed by relevant data points does not build enough trust. Experienced content marketing professionals would always prefer data over hollow claims. No doubt that only data doesn’t help a content piece succeed, but it’s essential..

  1. Project Management, Planning, and Publishing –

A Content Marketer is also expected to break down and analyze the pain points to turn keyword research into content ideas. So a professional must be able to identify and solve content gaps.

Further, they must know how to create a content calendar, decide the different types of content, and choose relevant platforms to publish and schedule marketing campaigns.

  1. Content Promotion

Creating a valuable content piece, for example - an ebook, isn’t enough. Your content marketing team needs to promote it proactively for bringing enough attention and engagement.

  1. Performance Analysis

Setting up goals and plans is one thing, but continuously executing, measuring, and analyzing content performance is another. A Content Marketer should always be monitoring key performance parameters to figure out the upcoming plans with the necessary updates required.

Not to forget - stakeholders and marketing heads need the performance reports regularly. So Content Marketers must be able to collect and comprehend all the data to make it worth presenting.

Step 1: Create a Candidate Persona

Let’s sort out the priorities first, and decide the type of content marketing candidates you want to recruit. From exceptional research skills to storytelling, communication skills, relationship building, audience engagement, and more capabilities must be comprehensively considered. Identify and break down the skill requirements for Content Marketers:

  • What are the educational qualification criteria for the role?
  • How many years and what type of work experience do you want in candidates?
  • What are the specific skill sets you’re looking for?
  • Which industry experience would you primarily prefer?
  • Are there any tools your candidates should be hands-on with?
  • What are some personality traits that will fit your company?
  • Where do they look for a new job?
  • What are their career and life goals?

Forming a candidate persona by answering all these questions would ensure you are not shooting in the dark while sourcing candidates. Further, it helps you determine the traits of the ideal candidate, and plan your sourcing and recruitment strategy further.

Step 2: Document the Role Requirements and Decide on Your Recruiting Process

Next step is determining your role requirements suiting primarily to organizational needs and business goals. A content marketing professional is expected to own the entire content strategy, creation, and distribution. But what about your business’s unique requirements?

You might need someone comfortable with frequently creating long-form content pieces like blogs, ebooks, or whitepapers, or creating engaging video content based on your industry trends.

Talk to various relevant stakeholders for seeking the complete detailed company requirements for the role.

Before you enter the recruitment funnel, outline your talent acquisition process. Identify various strategies, channels, and other informational insights you would need – and maintain a collaborative document.

As you update the tactics and tweak your recruitment process for meeting hiring requirements optimally – keep your document up to date.

Step 3: Prepare a Content Marketing Job Description

Once you have finalized the role requirements with respect to your current content marketing goals and team, you can start sourcing candidates. Preparing the job description is the first task you’ll need to do.

Here are the necessary components you must have in your job description:

  • Job Title: The position you’re looking to fill. For example - Content Marketing Specialist or Content Marketing Manager.
  • Roles & Responsibilities: An outline of the candidate’s day-to-day activities. From ideation to implementation and the impact on the organization, everything should be covered.  
  • Skill Requirements: Skills and abilities a candidate must have to perform the job successfully.
  • Perks and Benefits: The compensation details, perks of the job, and any other benefits.
  • About the Company: Why should a candidate consider working with your company?

Content Marketer Job Description Template


The job of a Content Marketer is to perform competitor research, create user persona, and write plagiarism-free content for blog articles, social media, and the company website. They need to stay updated on the latest SEO techniques.


  • Develop, write and deliver persuasive copy for the website, email marketing campaigns, sales collateral, videos, and blogs
  • Build and manage an editorial calendar; coordinate with other content crafters to ensure standards
  • Measure impact and perform analysis to improve KPIs
  • Include and optimize all content for SEO
  • Contribute to the localization of processes and content to ensure consistency across regions
  • Review and implement process changes to drive operational excellence


  • Proven content marketing, copywriting, or SEO experience
  • Working knowledge of content management systems like WordPress
  • A well-maintained portfolio of published articles, blogs, copy, etc
  • Proven experience of working under pressure to deliver high quality output in a short span of time
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications, Google Suite
  • Fluency in English or any other required language

Soft Skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • The ability to handle multiple projects concurrently
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to multi-task projects and deliverables

Step 4: Source Candidates

Once you have the tailored job description in hand, it’s now time to do the groundwork and source candidates. Create an attractive job post to promote your job across job boards and social channels.

  • Begin with what to expect from the role at your company?
  • Why should candidates apply for the position?
  • Highlight the growth opportunities
  • State the company vision and mission
  • Briefly describe the recruitment process

Prepare an impactful job post and also execute paid job ad campaigns if required. The next step would be promoting your jobs on various job boards and hiring platforms. You can leverage the following platforms for hiring Content Marketers:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Instahyre
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Monster
  • GlassDoor
  • CareerBuilder

Not to forget - almost 3/4th of the workforce includes passive candidates, so you cannot miss out on passive talent sourcing as well. Reach out to qualified candidates on communities, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook to offer them suitable opportunities.

Step 5: Evaluate Candidates and Interview Shortlisted Ones

Once you have filtered candidates based on their experience and skills listed on their profile, it’s time to evaluate them deeply. Ask them to create a content strategy for your website, along with a value-adding content piece like a small blog. The topic of the article must fall within the scope of the strategy.

Interview the candidates whose profiles got shortlisted. Keep in mind the parameters covering skills, relevant experience, and personality traits of candidates.

Step 5: Make the Hire

Reach out to selected Content Marketers and communicate about the compensation.

Further, extend your offer letter to all the candidates who have been selected. In the case of passive sourcing, extend to only those who were aligned with you on the compensation and are willing to move forward.

Ensure having a deadline for the joining date and mention the necessary documents required by your recruiting team.

  • Get the required documents and set up the offer agreements with candidates
  • Organize an orientation session for the onboarded candidates
  • Introduce them to the entire team and the marketing teams they will be working with
  • Guide the new candidates about your company management tools and communication channels
  • Provide candidates with forms for benefits and perks like Health Insurance.

Supercharge Your Hiring for Content Marketer with Nurturebox

Inbound candidate sourcing doesn’t work effectively anymore. Do you also find challenges in closing quality candidates through job posts even after spending on ads?

Don’t worry, passive candidate sourcing can be an optimal solution for hiring top content marketing candidates.

Nurturebox is a one-stop talent sourcing and engagement platform which is powered by automation. Here’s how you can source product managers from LinkedIn using Nurturebox:

  • Install the Nurturebox Chrome plugin and sign up.
  • On your LinkedIn profile, start sourcing Content Marketers with boolean searches stating the required experience from targeted locations and including other criteria
  • Add the qualified candidates to your sourcing campaign pipeline with just a click
  • Automate the candidate engagement through email, Whatsapp and LinkedIn direct messages for reaching out and nurturing candidates at scale.

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