When it comes to those hard-to-fill positions, one of our most effective ways of recruiting is by sourcing passive candidates on LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn profiles can provide us with pretty much every professional detail that we need to know about a candidate at the application stage, so it can become an absolute treasure-trove for finding exceptional candidates.

But it’s not always that easy – most passive candidates are generally satisfied with the role that they’re in. However, research from LinkedIn shows that 86% of the UK workforce are open to hearing about new opportunities, meaning a big portion of those passive candidates are willing to have a chat. Just about everybody will talk with a recruiter, but it’s important to connect with them in the right way. If your message isn’t engaging, it’ll probably fall flat and show no results – so below are our top tips for truly engaging with passive candidates on LinkedIn:

Keep your content flowing

A pretty simple one to mention but just as important none the less – the more packed your LinkedIn is with useful content and information, the more seriously you’ll be taken.

Starting with your own profile, if you’re missing aspects like a profile photo or information about yourself, your prospects might be less likely to respond as it doesn’t come across as professional. Then, consider aspects like what it is that you share and interact with, as well as what posts and articles you publish yourself.

We’re not saying you have to spend time creating a boatload of original content – there are plenty of sources out there that you can share content from, especially if that comes from your own recruitment agency. Staying active and engaged on LinkedIn will allow you to position yourself as an expert in your field, making you seem more trustworthy to candidates.

It’s also worth building up a network of people working in the field that you recruit for. Even if people aren’t interested in hearing about a role right now, doesn’t mean they wont be interested in your content (and possibly a different role in the future). Put some effort into networking!

Don’t sell a position, sell an opportunity

The thing with passive candidates is that just hearing about a role probably isn’t going to grab their attention. They’re probably being targeted by numerous recruiters all listing their job descriptions, but when they’re not actively pursuing a role change this won’t be very effective.

What you do need to push is the opportunities and the benefits that come with the role you’re recruiting for. Make these the focus of your message to get them more invested in your message. Talk progression, talk benefits, talk salary, talk about what impact they can truly have on the organisation.

Anything less than that is more than likely to end with no response, so really try and focus on selling the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’.

Do your research & be personal

Laying no groundwork before you get in touch with a prospective candidate will do you more harm than good.

A candidate will be able to tell that you don’t really know anything about them when you reach out, so make sure you spend some time having a dig into their LinkedIn profile. If there’s information missing that might be vital to your message, just ask them. Don’t make assumptions – it won’t look good on your behalf!

You’ll be much more likely to really pique their interest when you know what you’re talking about and personalizing your message to their skills and experience. Showing that you’ve took time to do your research rather than blindly sending out the same generic message means you’re much more likely to get a response. Tell the candidate exactly what made them stand out and what it is about them that made you get in touch – we all like to be flattered!

Try video

If you’re finding that you’re not having much luck with the most common techniques (we’re talking email and InMail), why don’t you try throwing video into the mix?

Video has long been recognized as an effective prospecting tool for sales folk, and recruiters are beginning to see the benefits now too. Video allows you to increase your engagement by boosting things like message open rates and response rates, because it’s much more personal and engaging to see the face and personality behind the message.

Video prospecting tools, like ours here at Shine, allow you to record short, snappy videos of yourself pitching a role to your candidates. They allow you to get your message across in a much more personalized way, allowing you to really sell the role (and yourself). If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about our video introductions tool, this article discusses how you can use it to differentiate your agency and cut through all of the industry noise!