It’s no secret recruiters and staffing professionals love passive candidates. These candidates have already proven and continue to prove they have the right skills and qualifications for the job. Unfortunately, because these candidates are passive, enticing them into your open positions can be a tough sell.

Finding a great passive candidate with the time, interest, and ability to connect with staffing professionals can feel like trying to spot a unicorn. Unlike the mythical creature, however, passive candidates shouldn’t actually be that hard to find. In fact, a recent study found 74 percent of the workforce is open for new opportunity to come knocking.

New Technology And Passive Candidates
Obviously passive candidates aren’t exactly as rare as a unicorn. Most of the workforce is open to a great opportunity if it comes their way. The problem becomes connecting with these passive candidates and convincing them your job is the right fit.

Staffing professionals and recruiters are extremely concerned with how to find great passive candidates. A 2013 study by Bullhorn showed finding passive candidates was more important than building brand awareness or even finding new client leads. In the same study, recruiters and staffing professionals claimed social media’s ability to improve access to passive candidates was the single biggest professional opportunity this year.

Social media is making it easier for you to discover, connect, and engage with passive candidates. A Twitter chat, a talent community on Facebook, or even a LinkedIn discussion can all result in great passive candidate leads.

The problem is that we still need to connect personally with the best candidates. This means time, effort, and face-to-face communication. This is where we tend to lose passive candidates. They already enjoy their jobs and even though the opportunity you present is impressive, they just don’t have the time in their schedule to accommodate all the legwork required by the typical hiring process.

But if new technological tools like social media can help us discover and connect with great passive candidates, then a new tech tool like video interviewing can actually make it easier to turn these candidates from leads into hires.

Here are two big ways the video interview can improve your ability to connect with passive talent:

Easier Scheduling
One of the biggest problems with enticing passive candidates is a lack of available time. These are busy people with packed schedules. The reason you want to deliver them to your client is because you know they’re good at their jobs, but unfortunately this can also make them desperately hard to pin down.

Using video interviews means being able to connect personally with these candidates around their packed calendars. For instance, using a one-way video interview makes the interview process asynchronous in time. In these interviews, candidates answer written employer questions on video whenever they can squeeze it into their schedules. Great passive candidates can answer questions on their lunch break or at home. These interviews can then be viewed whenever you have a free moment.

By freeing up some of the early stages of the hiring process, you ensure passive candidates don’t give up on you because it’s too hard to schedule a phone screen or face-to-face chat. If the passive candidate isn’t right for the job, you can easily move on to someone more suited for your client without wasting time trying to align crowded schedules.

No Airfare Required
Another reason passive candidates are in demand? They can help you easily jump the skills gap for your client. Just because the job market is filed to the brim with candidates doesn’t mean these are the right people for the job.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, some positions which used to be filled in two months are now taking four times as long to fill. This is because it’s become more difficult to find the candidates with the right skills, and every open position now means a flood of applications to sort through.

One way to jump the skills gap is to look at passive candidates who have already proven they can do the job. While social media has made it easier to discover and connect with these people, however, it has also widened your search parameters to candidates who might be perfect but located far outside your geographical location. These people might be willing to move for the right opportunity, which makes connecting in person that much more important.

Splurging on airfare and hotel accommodations, however, can really set back your budget. If the candidate turns out to be a less-than-perfect match, you’ve wasted money to no end. Plus busy passive talent will be less likely to pack up their suitcase to meet with you in person.

Instead, connect with the candidate through live video interviews. Live video interviews allow you to connect with candidates in real time, just like an in-person conversation. You can even record the interview, so everyone on the hiring team can be involved in the process. For far away candidates this means no plane rides, no baggage hassles, and no buckling up for takeoff. You can still connect personally in the interview process, but without all the cost and hassle.

Finding great passive talent isn’t always easy, but it’s not impossible. Passive candidates willing to jump at great opportunities aren’t as rare as unicorns; in fact they make up the majority of the job marketplace. Video interviewing technology is making it easier to connect personally and hire the best passive candidates.

What are some ways you can use video interviews to hire great passive talent? Share in the comments!

Tags: Bullhorn, Twitter, Technology, Wall Street Journal, SparkHire