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  • Writer's pictureVaishnavee Gonnade

How passive sourcing can help to search the rest of the talent iceberg

Posting vacancies on various job portals and other media and asking employees for referrals are the old school methods that worked when talent was sufficiently and easily available.

Today, talent is available in abundance but finding the best-fit person for the organization and engaging them for the further recruitment process is challenging. Reasons being the war of talent, candidates spread across multiple platforms, and inactive suitable candidates.

Hence, depending on conventional methods to search candidates is not recommended, especially when organizations want to advance strategically and align their hires to the business goal and culture.

In such a scenario, instead of finding them on-demand and as-needed basis, it is essential to search for candidates actively and proactively. One such strategy that aligns with the above thought is passive sourcing or iceberg sourcing!

Understanding Passive/Iceberg Sourcing

As the name suggests, the tip of the iceberg is just 1/10th of the entire iceberg! Similarly, in the job seekers market, only 10% are visible. The rest of the 90% talent is passive and inactive! To reach these passive (yet potential) candidates, sourcers need to adopt novel techniques and research in-depth. Hence, passive sourcing becomes a complicated and time-consuming method.

Yet, it works wonders for organizations that have a specific recruitment goal or vision on their mind. Let us see how it benefits!

Why Adopt Passive Sourcing Technique?

#Less competition for the organization

Passive candidates are not available upfront for other organizations to approach for hiring. Hence, you can be most of the time assured that they are not engaged in ongoing process interviews. It also gives you ample time to decide about the candidate and have better negotiation terms. It reduces your overall competition to engage and hire the candidates. Plus, they will pursue job opportunities only if they are genuinely interested. It saves the time of recruiters and the uncertainty of joining, if selected.

#Acquire growth mindset

According to a LinkedIn survey, 80% of the passive job seekers are content with their current jobs.

These candidates will only change their jobs if it offers them more challenging roles, an increased chance of growth, and a better work-life balance. Thus, they are self-motivated and have a growth mindset. It eventually helps the hiring organizations to acquire candidates who already have a positive attitude, positively impacting the overall culture of their organization.

#Hire proven skillset

Passive candidates are desirable, even to their current employers. They are an asset to the organization and have proved themselves over time. Hence, it is an assurance to head-hunters that candidates have the required skills (through your in-depth research about the candidate).

A candidate with a proven skillset will require little to no training if they join your organization, which will save your resources after recruitment.

#Ensure higher retention rate

Passive candidates have stable jobs. They will pursue other opportunities only for valid reasons. They are honest about why they are changing jobs if at all they are willing.

They will join an organization if the future employer tick marks all their terms and conditions. Therefore, they will stick with the organization for a longer time, increasing the organization’s retention rate.


Though the literal words passive sourcing suggests otherwise, it is the proactive approach for organizations that want to align their employees to their goals. It helps companies hire the best-fit talent and saves time for recruiters and sourcers that go into screening and interviewing unworthy (unfit for organization) candidates.

It instantaneously improves the efficiency of an organization’s recruitment cycle with multiple benefits mentioned above.

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