Passive Candidates: The biggest recruiting trend of 2023
Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez
It’s no secret that the software industry is already very competitive in getting the best talent out there, which means employers have to work hard to attract the best and brightest. There’s no shortage of strategies to catch the attention of those developers and engineers looking for a new opportunity (from recruiting HR firms that specialize in the tech industry, to software events and meetups), but in 2023, the challenge of bringing the people you need for your company will probably be bigger than ever.
But why is that? Well, for starters, the current tech job market is kind of a mess. The industry is plagued by some unprecedented instability thanks to several factors, ranging from the disruptions caused by the still ongoing pandemic to the geopolitical situation of many important regions of the world to bets in big technological projects, like cryptocurrencies and the Metaverse, not panning out as planned. The result is that the tech industry, as a whole, is currently going through a downturn that is causing layoffs, hiring freezes, and diminished budgets that create a climate of uncertainty among tech developers, and these challenges don’t seem to be going away soon.
So, thanks to uncharacteristically tough times in the tech industry, and the current state of its job market, finding qualified talent can become harder than ever before. These conditions have marked the rise of a unique trend in talent recruitment that will pose a challenge for any tech organization down the line: the passive candidate, or the people not looking for a new job but who would be willing to move elsewhere if it looks like the right opportunity.
The importance of this segment for the tech industry cannot be overstated. While many recruiters focus their efforts on active candidates, meaning those who are actively searching for new employment through the usual channels, passive candidates can often be a hidden talent pool encompassing over 79% of working professionals. And reaching them is no easy task, especially for medium-sized organizations that might have a harder time competing recruiting-wise. Sure, online tools such as LinkedIn and Google to search for qualified individuals who may not be actively seeking new opportunities can be a good start. Personal connections and networking can also be used to reach out to potential passive candidates, but it’s important to understand that the current job landscape means that it’s very unlikely for a candidate to consider leaving a position.
Today, the search for stability trumps any other consideration for a software developer. 2023 is not going to be about career growth, the opportunity to work in new and exciting tech, or whatever benefits and perks a company can offer, but rather keeping a job at all. From the passive candidate’s perspective, is easy to sum it up as “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t”, and situations like Meta rescinding job offers, Twitter laying off 75% of its workforce after Musk’s buyout, the continued collapse of many cryptocurrency ventures, Oracle cutting jobs in their cloud division, and more, make it easy to see why changing jobs is not an attractive option right now. But what alternatives are there to successfully reach a pool of talent that could make a difference for any project?
The run for passive candidates
To reach these potential candidates, you need to think outside the box and use creative recruiting methods. The key is getting your message in front of as many qualified individuals as possible, including attending industry events, searching online for candidate profiles, or even reaching out to personal contacts. The challenge, however, is that you are not the only one running this race, so ensuring that your company is at the top of mind for the best and brightest in the software industry sometimes needs creativity to reach the people you want:
“Census data shows, for example, that the majority of people who took a new job last year weren’t searching for one: Somebody came and got them”, said the analysis by the Harvard Business Review. “Companies seek to fill their recruiting funnel with as many candidates as possible, especially ‘passive candidates’ who aren’t looking to move. Often employers advertise jobs that don’t exist, hoping to find people who might be useful later on or in a different context.”
After all, there’s a reason why the saying “the best software developers are already employed” is so popular. Those whose talents are critical to an organization are likely to already be comfortable in their positions, especially when the industry is not as stable as it used to be. Usually, these people tend to be open to opportunities, but that might not seem like the case anymore, especially if you are a start-up or a medium-sized company. So how can you find these hidden gems? The answer is simple: you need to go where they are.
And we don’t mean spending time on popular coding forums and websites, participating in online chatrooms, or attending industry events. It takes effort to find passive candidates, but this is true only if you look at your local prospects, which are often the hardest to convince, and the unstable tech market of 2023 will mean that the resources you can commit to this task might be too much. However, building a dream team of top-notch software developers is not out of reach for those medium-sized organizations that might not be interested in passive candidate competence, with a solution virtually next door.
Top talent in Nearshore
If passive candidates are proving elusive and hard to reach, what could be an alternative to it? Well, if you’re looking for top-notch development talent with a very specific set of skills and experiences, you might want to consider partnering with a Nearshore organization like Scio, that not only aims for the best software development in Mexico, but can help you close the gaps between the people you need, and the limited pool of talent you want. Here are a few reasons why:
- You’ll have access to a larger pool of potential candidates. When you partner with a Nearshore software company, you’re not just limited to the talent in your immediate vicinity; you can tap into a much larger pool of qualified candidates, making it more likely that you’ll find the perfect fit for your needs.
- You’ll save time and money on recruiting. If you try to recruit development talent on your own, you’ll likely have to invest a lot of time and money into the process and doubly so for passive candidates. When you partner with a Nearshore software company, they can handle the recruiting for you, making the process much more efficient and cost-effective.
- You can take advantage of flexible staffing options. Nearshore software companies typically offer more flexible staffing options than their offshore counterparts, meaning that you can scale up or down as needed, without being locked into a long-term contract.
Overall, partnering with a Nearshore software company is an ideal way to find top-notch development talent. With access to a larger pool of candidates, lower recruiting costs, and flexible staffing options, it’s easy to see why more and more businesses are making the switch, so it may not make sense to spend valuable time and resources pursuing passive candidates who probably wouldn’t want to leave a job they’re content with. The top-notch talent that the rest of the industry is fighting to get is just there, your company might only need the right partner to enhance your team in just the right way.
The Key Takeaways
- 2023 is going to be a tough year for the tech industry, and recruitment will become more and more competitive.
- One of the biggest trends for 2023 is the rise of the “passive candidate”, who is not actively seeking a new job, but seems to be open to opportunities.
- However, the unique situation of 2023 means that these candidates will be harder to reach and convince, as stability is a #1 concern, and changing jobs goes against that.
- So, for a medium-sized company or a start-up, finding the right talent locally might be a big challenge to overcome.
- This is why Nearshore talent recruitment can be such a good solution, offering a pool of talent that can go toe to toe with your local candidates, but with the cost-effectiveness and flexibility you want.
Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!