Despite the fact there is still significant unemployment across the whole of the UK, many hospitality employers are still having an incredibly tough time finding candidates to fill their vacancies.

To be fair, it’s not just the hospitality sector facing this problem. Almost every industry is finding it a lot harder to recruit new people. In fact, a recent report produced by the recruiting software company Workable showed a consistent, country-wide growth in job openings combined with a “worrisome drop in candidates per hire.”

Why is that? Because, as we discussed in our last blog, it’s a candidate-driven market, and candidates can afford to be choosy. By ‘candidates’, we’re not just talking about people who are unemployed and actively looking for work; we’re including the immense pool of people who are currently in work too. 90% of the employed workforce are willing to talk with other employers to find out what they’ve got to offer, and Workable’s recent Great Discontent survey of UK workers found that 45.1% of them are passively open to new opportunities.

Passive candidates are recruitment gold. According to research, they’re two times more efficient than candidates who actively apply and 120% more likely to make a substantial impact in your workplace. That’s because a passive candidate isn’t in a hurry to change their circumstances. It’s very likely they won’t even know who you are until you reach out and talk to them first. But, once you’ve started that conversation, a passive candidate will be open to finding out more. Then, all you’ve got to do is give them enough motivation to leave their current circumstances and join your team.

How can you find passive candidates?

Leverage your social media

Once upon a time, LinkedIn was the most popular online recruiting tool. Now, it’s become too popular and oversaturated with recruiters to be effective. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat offer fantastic, creative ways to find and attract passive candidates. Facebook and Twitter both have targeted search functionalities that will enable you to find the high-quality candidates you’re looking for while showcasing your business on Snapchat and Instagram will go a long way to attracting a passive candidate’s attention. Remember, it’s not just reaching out to people that’s essential; it’s also knowing how to tell your business’s story in a way that will make them want to stop what they’re doing right now and become a part of it.

Start a referral program

78% of the very best passive candidates are found through referrals. Where do those referrals come from? Most of the time, it’s through the business’s existing employees. Remember, every one of your employees has their own network of personal connections, and a lot of those connections will share the same interests and the same skills. They’ll also be influenced by what their peers have to say about what a fantastic employer you are.

So, when you’ve got a vacancy in your workplace, ask your current employees if they know somebody who might fit the bill. A lot of passive candidates are wary of responding to recruiters, but they will consider roles that are mentioned to them by a personal connection.

Use job boards

When people are actively looking for work, they often upload their CVs onto job board websites.

Even after they’ve found work, their CVs usually stay there.

Go onto those job boards and search those CVs to find your perfect passive candidate. Don’t worry if the CV seems outdated; it will still tell you a lot about their education, skills, and experience level and be a strong indicator of whether or not they’ll be a good fit for the role. Take a look at their social media profiles to find out what they’re doing now and how their career is progressing. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them if you believe they’re who you’re looking for. In the worst-case scenario, they’ll ignore your approach, but nine times out of ten, they’ll be intrigued that you’ve made contact and will at least want to check out who you are. That’s another reason why knowing how to tell your business’s story is so important.

Re-engage with people who have applied to you in the past

To do that, you’ll need to have two things:

  1. A tracking system that contains the CVs or key information of all your previous applicants. It’s always a good idea to archive previous applicants and unsuccessful hopefuls so you can revisit them at a later date. Even though they weren’t suitable for that previous role doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be ideal in the future. Or maybe they had skills you weren’t looking for at the time but could be invaluable for you today?
  2. A way to keep the levels of communication open. In other words, always make sure you’ve left the door open so that previously unsuccessful candidates will still be willing to re-engage with you in the future. The easiest way to do that is by acknowledging applications when you receive them, keeping applicants aware of their application status, and giving them feedback. Research has shown that a previous applicant is four times more likely to consider working for you again if you offered them constructive feedback in the past, but only 41% of candidates ever receive feedback following an interview. Also, 80% of previous applicants will be unlikely to consider working for a company that failed to notify them of their application status. On the other hand, they’ll be 3.5 times more likely to reapply to a company that did keep them in the loop.

Understand what passive candidates are looking for

Passive candidates aren’t in a hurry to make a change. If you want to capture their attention, you’ve got to give them a compelling reason to work for you by offering them all the essential elements that most passive candidates are looking for.

  • A unique and rewarding workplace that embodies the values they believe in.
  • Competitive pay that reflects their own value.
  • Career growth and developmental opportunities.
  • People, culture-fit, and work/life balance are as important as salary and career potential. For many Millennials, they’re more important.
  • A role that’s more rewarding than their current job.

In hospitality, the recruitment marketplace is more competitive than ever. First-class, top-quality candidates are in high demand, so if you want to source them before your rivals do, you’ve got to be strategic and creative in your approach. Identifying and connecting with passive candidates is one of the very best ways you can do that.

Of course, the absolute best way to do it is by letting Prime Agency Recruitment find the cream-of-the-crop candidates for you! After more than twenty years at the top of the hospitality recruitment industry, we’ve got an extensive database packed with top-tier talent and a friendly, expert team who are passionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated to helping you make your business a success. Give us a call on 020 7580 4398 or email to find out more.

We’re looking forward to working with you soon.

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