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Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Recruiting Strategies - Passive Recruiting
Potential applicants either are actively searching for a job or are not. Passive applicant recruiting is identifying top talent who are not actively seeking a job, and then recruiting them to apply for your job openings. Passive applicants tend to be satisfied with their current job and an excellent cultural fit at their current organization. They may be open to speaking with a known contact, but unlikely to consider a new position unless it offers significant advantages over their current position.

Recruit Passive Applicants
Contacting and convincing top talent to apply for your job is time-, labor- and cost-intensive. Passive applicant recruiting is a strategy most often used for recruiting individuals with highly specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities, such as those in senior-level and scientific or professional positions.

Cultivate a pipeline of potential applicants so they consider future opportunities with your organization and refer other potential applicants. To find potential applicants, you can use:
  • Internet searches
  • Competitor websites (e.g., professional bios)
  • Blogs (e.g., professional, industry, and employee)
  • Professional organizations (e.g., membership directories)
  • Social networks
  • Professional publications
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Title V and other Authorities
As you consider this strategy, keep in mind, you are responsible for ensuring you are in compliance with all laws, regulations, agency policy, and other applicable legal authorities that serve as the foundation for the specific hiring process and procedures under which you are operating.

For official U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance on Federal hiring, visit; the Hiring Reform portal; and the Delegated Examining Operations Handbook for competitive examining.