Top Considerations that Passive Candidates Look for in Companies and Job Opportunities

Aug 5, 2021

A passive candidate is a person who is not actively looking for a new position. They might be employed, between jobs or taking a break and they probably aren’t scanning job sites or promoting their availability on sites like LinkedIn.

Experienced recruiters don’t just rely on people who apply to their job ads. To increase their talent pool, they go in search of passive candidates who might have the necessary skills and experience that their clients require.

It’s worth a short mention that when dealing with a passive candidate, several factors need to remain in focus.

    • They didn’t ask to be approached. This changes the dynamic compared with active candidates and they will need to be ‘sold’ the opportunity.
    • It’s a nice boost to the ego of people who are approached about a job and as a consequence, their expectations may become inflated.
    • They may be passive because they lack motivation or ambition. That has to be assessed during the recruitment process.
    • It is the responsibility of the recruiter to take extra ‘candidate care’ with passive candidates as they didn’t ask to get involved.

With that in mind, the talent pool should include people other than those just actively looking around. So, to successfully ‘waken’ a passive candidate, they need to be shown why this new job opportunity is attractive and worth considering.

Here are some considerations passive candidates may take into account when evaluating an opportunity to join your company:

    • Company’s Mission and Values
    • Career Goal Alignment
    • Company Culture
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Career Growth Opportunities
    • Job Security
    • Work-Life Balance

1. Company’s Mission And Values

Passive candidates may have far-reaching goals and aspirations that go beyond just landing the next opportunity at your company. They carefully examine the company’s mission and values before considering them because they would like to work for a company that values what they value as well. Passive candidates are looking for an opportunity where they feel fulfilled and can thrive professionally as well as personally.

2. Career Goal Alignment

Most passive candidates know what they want when it comes to where their careers will go eventually. Therefore, they are more than likely to choose  an organization  that can provide them with a distinct career path. They are less likely to be interested in positions that do not directly appeal to where they see themselves headed; rather, passive candidates are seeking to work in companies that will provide them with distinctive challenges and a rewarding career path for the long-term future. They are also more likely to be interested in a company or position that is closely aligned to their eventual goals so that they are challenged enough to keep motivated.

3. Company Culture

Passive candidates want job opportunities where their personality is valued. When considering whether or not to work with your organization, passive candidates consider what kind of people they would be working around on a daily basis, how much the employer cares about its staff members’ personal lives, and more.

When considering company culture, passive candidates are also attracted to organizations that have diverse and inclusive leadership. Passive candidates want their employer’s leaders to not only be committed to diversity but also ensure there will never be any bias or discrimination in employment practices. Working in an atmosphere that’s both diverse and inclusive will help empower passive candidates to be themselves at work everyday while also attaining the support of their colleagues in the process.

4. Compensation And Benefits

Compensation and benefits are important considerations for passive candidates considering a job opportunity with your company. Passive candidates know there is more than just salary they should be considering; however, sometimes what seems like an amazing opportunity may not hold up under closer inspection regarding compensation and other perks. Passive candidates are drawn to companies that offer strong salaries, bonuses, retirement plans, vacation time, and more.

5. Career Growth Opportunities

In the current job market, most passive candidates would weigh up their options if they were offered a new position. A recent study found that these people care deeply about career growth opportunities and want to make sure a company is investing in them as well before accepting a job offer. Many have even turned down offers because there were no guarantees on this front! This means employers who aren’t thinking creatively enough could be losing out by missing some great talent.

Passive candidates are also seeking career growth opportunities through training sessions, experience, and project opportunities that are offered by the company. They want to make sure that their skills are being utilized by the company with the hope there will be an opportunity to advance later down the line when warranted.

Therefore, passive candidates are always looking for the next new opportunity to grow their careers. They want jobs that will challenge them and make use of all skills they possess so they do not stagnate in one position.

6. Job Security

Passive applicants typically have a strong interest in considering jobs that will offer them stability and financial support. They are more likely to look for a stable employer rather than an organization with high turnover rates or that abruptly layoffs employees. Passive job seekers are looking for stability in their work-life, and that means a company with an established track record of success.

7. Work-Life Balance

In an increasingly competitive job market, passive candidates are more willing to take a step back and consider work-life balance when considering new opportunities. Passive candidates want to an opportunity that will allow them time away from work to be active in other aspects of life such as family, hobbies, or sports. Interestingly, passive candidates are more likely than their active counterparts to consider work-life balance when seeking job opportunities because they look for positions that allow them the freedom and flexibility of self-employment.


If you want to attract passive candidates, make sure you highlight what your company can offer on the above mentioned considerations, whether it be from offering an inclusive company culture to assuring long-term job security. At Curran Daly & Associates, we can help you craft an effective recruitment strategy and improve your company’s branding so that a passive candidate will find your job offer attractive. If you wish to avail of our services, give us a call today!

By: Curran Daly + Associates


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