How Programmatic Advertising is Breaking the Talent Ceiling

What makes passive candidates so alluring?

Passive candidates are those that are successfully employed, which means they are rich in the latest skills and technologies and have a wealth of experience. They are not actively looking for opportunities, which means they are less likely than active candidates to be interviewing with competitors.

But they also happen to be the most difficult to recruit. Being employed does not mean that they are not interested in other opportunities. Rather, it takes much more than just cold-calling and personalized in-mails to urge them to consider other roles.

This article details tactics you can employ to appeal to these passive candidates. It also explains how you can use programmatic advertising to further establish and advertise your brand.

Related: Overcoming Recruitment Challenges in 2018

Market your company

To establish your presence, use your employer branding tactics to position yourself as a top employer in the market.

Determine what sets you apart from your competitors. It could be flexible work hours, a higher number of PTO days, stock options, or a workplace with great amenities. Emphasize these to prospective candidates on your website, social media channels, networking events and conferences.

Passive candidates need that extra something to make a move, so it makes sense to invest in your branding.

Related: Closing Candidates with Multiple Offers

Publish amazing content

Use social media to your advantage by publishing content relevant to your target audience. Informative knowledgebase articles, blogs, white papers, case studies, and infographics are just some of the kinds of content you could publish.

Make sure your content is SEO-friendly. Pay attention to the ‘tone’ of your blogs, to ensure they convey your company values (creative, casual, trend-setter and so on).

The key is to vary the content and make it as eye-catching as possible for your target audience.

Create SEO-optimized job ads

SEO is a critical factor in improving the search rankings of your job advertisements. And the greater your search rankings, the greater the chances of candidates noticing your job postings. Keyword usage is an important aspect of SEO. Use tools like Keyword Tool to determine search rankings for specific keywords. But, try not to keyword-stuff your postings.

Job postings typically sound very similar across job boards, merely listing required skills, years of experience and preferred skills. While this might yield some success with active job-seekers, it might not work for passive candidates.

Instead, come up with a well-crafted and compelling job posting, emphasizing your workplace culture, opportunities for growth and learning, perks and the awesome benefits that you offer. Try to have a conversational tone and avoid industry jargon, while still including relevant keywords.


Whether you decide to use social media or opt for programmatic advertising, the key factor is to appeal to your target passive candidates and compel them enough to consider opportunities, or better yet, actually make a move to your organization.

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