HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Passive Candidate

What is a passive candidate?

A passive candidate is a candidate who is not actively seeking a new position. Passive candidates are not looking for a position and have not applied for the job. 

By reaching out to passive candidates, businesses can find more and better candidates in the competitive labor market before the candidate is even looking for a job.

Passive candidate recruiting

How can you recruit passive candidates? HR or hiring managers can use a variety of strategies to locate passive candidates who meet the criteria for the job including: 

  • Outreach on LinkedIn
  • Social media such as Twitter or Facebook
  • Employee referrals 
  • Internal outreach
  • Alumni networks
  • Existing candidate database

Because the passive candidate is not currently looking for a job, it’s important to excite passive candidates about your company in you initial outreach. With so many great benefits to offer, some employers have a hard time communicating how valuable they are to employees. Use our checklist to make sure you’re promoting your perks in the best ways! 


Your recruitment strategy should already include a discussion of how great your company is, but remember, your website is typically a potential hire’s first impression for your company. At minimum, you need to list a general overview of perks and achievements in each job description. There’s value in simply listing them on your website as well– for example, create a webpage that specifies why your company is a great place to work, and list a few of your great benefits offered.

Passive candidate template

Here is an example of a LinkedIn message to a passive candidate: 

Hi Candidate,

My name is “”NAME OF RECRUITER HERE” and I lead the marketing team at Bernard Health here in Nashville. We’ve built top-shelf software, and we’re growing.

Looking at your LinkedIn page, I think you would be a good fit for our Inbound Marketing Strategist role. If you are interested in this position, you can apply here: JOB LINK HERE


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