How To Build A Passive Candidate Pipeline

In our recent eBook – The 2018 Recruitment And Technology Trends – UK and Ireland – we found that 74.6% of recruitment agencies have identified “finding talent” as the top challenge for 2018.  Among the primary reasons why finding talent remains such a challenge is, of course, the skills shortage combined with a record low unemployment rate in the UK. For recruiters, this translates to the majority of quality candidates already being employed. In fact, these “passive candidates” make up the vast majority of the market, globally 75% of the workforce.

What Is The Difference Between An Active And Passive Candidate?

By definition, an active candidate is “actively” looking for a job whereas a passive candidate is not. Usually, a passive candidate already has employment but could be open to hearing about the right opportunity. LinkedIn’s U.S. & Canada Talent Trends report advises; “90 percent of professionals are interested in hearing about new job opportunities.”

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Building A Passive Candidate Pipeline?


The nature of a passive candidate means that they are unlikely to be regularly interviewing for a number of roles because, realistically, they will only be looking to move for that next ideal opportunity. This means that when you do have a role that they are interested in, they are more likely to be exclusively your candidate.

Quality Over Quantity
When building your passive candidate pipeline, you can focus on building relationships with high quality candidates that you know have the motivation, skills, experience and cultural fit that your clients will be looking for in their current or future workforce requirements.

Undercover Recruiter reported that passive candidates are 120% more likely to want to make an impact at a new business than active candidates. As a recruitment agency, your reputation is built on the quality of the candidates you provide to your clients so the more reliable they are, the better your agency appears.

Honesty and transparency from a candidate is critical for any successful placement. Due to the job security that passive candidates can fall back on, they tend to be more open and honest in both what they are looking for and what they will accept if offered. Active candidates may be willing to accept a role even if they do not intend to stay there, simply because they may need employment.


Important Vs Urgent
Time management and prioritisation are two key skills of a successful recruiter, as you are consistently spending your day balancing important versus urgent candidate and client requirements. Building a passive candidate pipeline takes time and you don’t often see any immediate ROI. But, over time, as your pool starts to grow, you might not have to advertise every single role you receive from your clients, as you already have that ideal candidate in your passive candidate pipeline.

Negotiating Counter Offers
A counter offer from a candidate’s current employer is always challenging after you have spent time building a relationship, identifying a new opportunity and coordinating the interview process. As most passive candidates are currently employed, take a read of our blog on 7 Counter Offer Statistics Every Recruiter Needs To Know so, when you are presented with a counter offer, you have some stats and information to discuss with your candidate.

4 Tips For Building a Passive Candidate Pipline

1. Keep Your Friends Close (And Your Past Candidates Closer)

A. Stay in contact with your previously placed candidates
With your previously placed candidates, you can rely on their ability to perform at an interview and you already have that relationship based on finding them their current job. Set a reminder every 6 months to check how they are doing and you’ll be first to recognise when they may be interested in hearing about new opportunities.

B. Stay in contact with candidates you didn’t place
You may have represented candidates in the past who accepted another job offer. By keeping in regular contact with them, you can ensure that the next time they’re looking to move for another role, your name will be first on their mind.

C. Make use of your existing network
Ask your circle of friends if they, or any of their colleagues, might be interested in new opportunities.

2. Build Your Personal Brand

It is one thing to represent your recruitment agencies brand but, as a recruiter, a lot relies on you, as a individual. The more you can gain a positive reputation in your specialist sector, the more receptive passive candidates will be to talking to you.

Write blogs or share industry news on social media that will resonate with your target candidates. By becoming part of the online community, you will begin to build relationships with relevant candidates without thrusting your open vacancies in their face. Optimise your LinkedIn profile to be as transparent as possible and encourage personal reviews on your LinkedIn profile from past candidates.

Attend events that your candidates will likely attend. It doesn’t always have to be business events either. Social events can be more lucrative for building real relationships and no matter how helpful new technology can be, there is nothing more effective than meeting someone face-to-face.

3. Be Authentic

At every point of communication with a passive candidate, authenticity is paramount. Passive candidates are often strangers before you contact them, they don’t owe you anything so by being personal, polite and genuinely interested in their career, you can give yourself the best chance of connecting with them.

4. Use The Tools At Your Disposal

Believe it or not, your recruitment software can also be an excellent tool for helping to attract and manage your passive candidate pipeline:

  • Add a personal touch to your communication with past candidates by recalling earlier conversations recorded in the communication log.
  • Use your recruitment software to schedule in reminders to contact passive candidates – don’t rely on your memory for everything.
  • Segment your candidate pipeline into active and passive candidates so you can manage where you need to devote your time.

Building a continuous pipeline of passive candidate is a long game tactic, as it takes time each day to reach out and build those relationships. But by focusing and developing pipelines of both active and passive candidates, you will be in a better stance to fill your clients roles quicker and more effectively.

Are your recruiters consistently struggling to hit their target? Download our free guide below and build an exceptional recruitment team.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

How Will Voice Search Impact Recruitment?

For our 2018 UK & Ireland Recruitment Industry and Technology trends eBook, we asked survey recipients a few key questions regarding the performance of their agency’s website and if they are aware of upcoming changes with Google searches. For any recruitment agency, their website acts as the shop window to both candidates and clients alike, so the importance of their website’s performance in relevant internet searches continues to be a business priority.

Did you know that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches?

Voice search was a major headline in the tech news of 2017. With the growth in popularity of voice assistants such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, voice search is changing the way that people interact with the internet and their search queries.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search uses speech recognition technology to allow users to make voice commands to a portable device such as a mobile, tablet or voice assistant. It is undoubtedly interlinked with mobile search, with 19% of people already using Apple’s Siri every day. Significantly, currently 78% of millenials use a mobile device to search for jobs.

With voice search gradually becoming a part of our everyday life, it will be on the radar of many industries. It is already having a profound impact on many sectors such as ecommerce, with studies showing that 1 in 4 people in the US used a voice assistant for shopping over the holiday season. But what will be the impact of voice search on the recruitment industry as a whole and what can you do ensure you stay at the top of Google?

Statistics about voice search

Voice Search And Content

As voice search becomes more prominent, a noteworthy change in the way that internet searches will operate will be focused around semantics. Technology has had to adapt its natural language processing systems to understand search queries being communicated in a much more conversational, human manner. As a result of this, search engines are now much more adept at understanding the more complex (also known as long tailed keywords or search terms) queries which dominate voice search.

As these long tail search terms become used more frequently, recruitment agencies may need to consider the language that they are using in their job adverts and blog content to reflect these changes in terminology. For instance, this would be the difference between:

“Part time waiter jobs East London” (short tail keyword)


“What part time waiter jobs are there in East London?” (long tail keyword)

Long tail queries beginning with question words such as with ‘who, what, where, when, how’ which are indicators of the intent of the candidate, which can be used to your advantage in any content being produced. By understanding the kinds of questions which your potential candidates are asking, you can create content which is structured around these questions. This utilises the way that voice search results work as well as reassuring the candidate that you can answer their queries.

Research has been conducted which shows that 48% of people would like to receive personalised tips and information with their voice assistance queries. By writing FAQs and useful content that addresses your target audience’s (i.e. candidates) “pain points” you can appear in more Google searches and attract candidates earlier in their job search.

In addition to creating job adverts that are written with voice search in mind, this approach also demonstrates how effective content marketing and blogging can be if it is well executed. To find out more about inbound marketing, download our Inbound Marketing For Recruitment Agencies eBook here.

Voice Search And Location-Based Results

When voice searches are performed on mobile devices, they are embedded with geographic information that isn’t always enabled on desktop devices. This means that if a candidate were to search for jobs using a particular job title, the GPS on the device they are using will be able to add this location information to their query. These location-specific web pages are more likely to appear first in the search engine results pages of Google and Bing.

By ensuring that your job adverts are clearly listed with their location, recruitment agencies can avoid missing any of the location based search traffic which is increasingly coming from voice search.

Voice Search and SEO

For the location-based results to work, local SEO for recruitment agencies is essential. Your listings may be ranking satisfactorily on desktop for generic searches, but it can be another story in the results for a voice search. As mentioned previously, SEO must be a vital element of your strategy in order to reap the rewards of voice searches.

Your SEO strategy doesn’t stop there, however. The rise in voice search has also accelerated a rise in the importance of featured snippets. A featured snippet (also known as an answer box) is the result which occasionally comes up in Google searches for specific queries.

How To Write A Great CV

These featured snippets take up more “real estate” on search engine results pages, often appearing before the Number 1 position on Google, and are of specific interest with regards to voice search results.

If a candidate were to use a voice assistant such as the Google Home Mini or Amazon Alexa, the featured snippet will be the first result that is read out. Recruitment agencies can use this to their advantage by optimising content such as industry-related blogs with answer box status in mind. Gaining an answer box is not an exact science, but ensuring that your content is written with your audience in mind is best practice for search engine visibility, regardless. If you’d like to learn more about the tactics that you can use for featured snippet status, have a look at this blog from Moz.

What Impact Will Voice Search Have On Recruitment?

Since Apple introduced Siri in 2011, the use of voice search has steadily grown. Considering the huge investments made by rivals Google, Microsoft and Amazon in 2017 things don’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

It seems likely that voice search will be heavily linked to search engine optimisation (SEO) and content marketing. The more candidates and clients who opt to use voice search in their everyday lives, the more important SEO and your content marketing strategy will become in attracting potential visitors to your website and increasing your brand awareness.

To find out the other predictions and insights for the UK and Ireland recruitment industry in 2018 download our free eBook below.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team

The GDPR Compliance Toolkit For Recruitment Agencies

As we are fast approaching the new GDPR regulations coming into effect on the 25th May 2018, all organisations that process individual/personal data as a ‘data controller’ or ‘data processor’ within the European Union (EU) are required to comply with the new regulation to avoid increased fines and penalties.

During our own extensive research on the new regulations, we have come across a multitude of online articles, blogs, guides and white papers providing advice on the new GDPR regulations, but not all of them deliver.

So to shortcut this exhaustive process for you, here’s our shortlist of the best online GDPR resources including some specifically for the recruitment industry to make up your GDPR compliance toolkit*.

NB: Be sure to bookmark this page for later so you can easily access the best resources on GDPR.

Quick Reads on GDPR

A Short Guide To The EU GDPR | IT Governance

IT Governance are a “leading global provider of IT governance, risk management and compliance solutions”. Their guide will give you the basic breakdown of what GDPR is, the primary impact it will have on organisations and what you will need to do to comply with the new regulation. It’s a 3 minute read so if you know nothing about the upcoming regulation changes, here’s a good place to start.

What is GDPR? The Need To Know Guide | Eclipse Software

Our recently published blog aims to provide a straightforward guide to the answers of the 8 most frequently searched questions in Google about GDPR. You will get concise information of the basics, as well as:

  • Who Enforces GDPR?
  • Are GDPR Fines Insurable?
  • What Does GDPR’s “right to be forgotten” Rule Mean?
  • Will GDPR Apply After Brexit?

Are You GDPR Ready? HubSpot’s Checklist | HubSpot

HubSpot’s GDPR section is very useful and practical for all organisations looking to prepare for GDPR. If you know the basics of GDPR for your recruitment agency but aren’t quite sure where to start, HubSpot’s checklist gives you the questions you will need to ask yourself in order to begin the process of compliance. It will only take 5 minutes to read but, after reading this resource you’ll feel a lot more confident of what you need to do before 25th May 2018.

Longer Reads on GDPR

Preparing For EU GDPR | Alan Calder

Founder of IT Governance, Alan Calder, is the author of EU GDPR: A Pocket’s Guide and in this resource, he provides a more detailed breakdown of the particular legislation changes that will occur after 25th May 2018 and what approach to take. The slideshare is accompanied by a 1 hour video presentation so, if you’re more engaged by video, then this is the resource for you.

Supporting GDPR Compliance in Recruitment | Volcanic

Volcanic, who specialise in making websites for recruitment agencies, have a wealth of knowledge about GDPR and how to make your website compliant for the new regulation. Their download, Supporting GDPR Compliance in Recruitment is a comprehensive guide specifically for agencies and covers:

  • Do I really need to comply with GDPR?
  • What does GDPR mean for me?
  • 12 steps to support GDPR compliance

What Does GDPR Mean For Recruitment Agencies? | Eclipse Software

Our downloadable eBook is a comprehensive guide specifically for recruitment agencies. We might be biased but we think it covers everything you need to consider when preparing for GDPR, plus a little bit more. Sections include:

  • An Individual (Candidate) Rights
  • The Definition of Personal Data
  • How Will GDPR Impact Recruitment Agencies?
  • What Does Your Recruitment Agency Need To Do?

GDPR In Full

If you still haven’t quite had your fill of GDPR compliance and would like to study the finer points of the legislation complete with legal terminology, you can use the two resources below:

Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) | ICO

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights. Their complete guide is a bit more user friendly than the legislation itself and they also have a very useful 12 step guide as well as self assessment checklists for data controllers and data processors.

REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 | Official Journal Of The European Union

The regulation in full may not be the most engaging reading, but if you interested in reading the official language direct from the source, here is every clause of the GDPR legislation.

gdpr recruitment agency

*Disclaimer: Any person who intends to rely upon or use the information contained herein in any way is solely responsible for independently verifying the information and obtaining independent expert advice if required.

The Top 4 UK & Ireland Recruitment & Technology Trends For 2018

The recruitment industry, and technology, as a whole is constantly evolving. The new year provides a natural opportunity to take stock of the year we’ve left behind and to speculate about the year ahead. In November 2017 we conducted an online survey targeting recruitment professionals across the UK and Ireland to seek their thoughts, predictions and insights regarding the landscape of the recruitment industry and technology for 2018.

Below are 4 trends taken from our 2018 UK & Ireland Recruitment & Technology Landscape eBook.

1. 2018 A Year For Growth

Despite the ongoing brexit progression and the upcoming GDPR legislation, there is still a remarkably positive attitude across the employment and recruitment sector. In fact, the Office of National Statistics recently reported that unemployment in the UK has dropped to 1.44 million, a four decade low.

This is reflected in our survey, where 94.9% of recruitment agencies are predicting growth in 2018. This is primarily due to current sector demand according to 57.1% of surveyed participants. ONS statistician David Freeman confirms the prediction of recruitment professional in the UK & Ireland commenting, “Demand for workers clearly remain[s] strong.”

2. Finding Top Talent Remains Top Challenge

Although this is very positive for the recruitment industry in the UK, with a low unemployment rate and a strong demand for workers, it seems inevitable that this will perpetuate the skills shortage conundrum, making finding top talent the pressing challenge for recruiters. Almost three quarters (74.6%) of recruitment agencies predicted that this will remain true for 2018.

Recruitment agencies will need to rely on their skills of nurturing lasting relationships with passive candidates to build a pipeline of talent to place candidates in their clients’ hard-to-fill roles.

3. AI & Machine Learning Yet To See Investment

The development of new technology making a huge impact on the recruitment sector is not a new thing. If you cast your mind back only 10 years, LinkedIn Recruiter didn’t exist, recruitment software was in its infancy and social media wasn’t the widespread business tool that we know it is today. Last year saw a lot of hype surrounding the birth and implementation of AI and machine learning and you may have heard stats similar to:

By 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human.”

Having witnessed all of this, it doesn’t seem that UK & Ireland recruitment agencies are completely convinced about how this emerging technology can help their agency improve on a daily basis in 2018. Only 5.6% of recruitment professionals are considering AI & machine learning as a potential investment this year. There seems to be a much greater appetite for investment in tried and tested technologies with recruitment software (77.8%) and the website (55.6%) proving the most popular.

4. Social Media Remains Key To Candidate & Client Engagement

Social media has grown in importance over the last decade and it seems that this is unlikely to change in 2018. In fact, surveyed agencies predict that it may even have a larger part to play this year. Over half of recruitment agencies (50.8%) identified it as the technology predicted to have the biggest impact in the recruitment industry in 2018 and 89.8% recognised it as an key channel for their agency.

What is fascinating is the wide variety of tasks that recruiters now rely on social media for:

Social Media Trends Recruitment 2018

For a complete picture of 2018 Recruitment Industry and Technology Trends in the UK & Ireland, download our free eBook today.

How to build an exceptional recruitment team