9. July 2024

Why is everyone talking about…passive talent pools?

Personio Pulse: This Week in HR - 1

Welcome to Personio Pulse: This Week in HR, where each week we take a look at the latest trends in the world of work, what you need to know about them and what they mean for you as an HR professional. 

This week, we’re talking about a growing ‘passive talent pool’ and what it means for recruiting, engaging and retaining your top talent. 

What you need to know

Is there an entire workforce worth of talent waiting for you to reach out to them? According to the latest data from recruitment specialists LHH, 47% of employees are looking at open positions, and 33% think about their career prospects on a daily or weekly basis. Shockingly, only 18% are actively applying to new roles — leading to what they call a growing ‘passive talent pool.’ 

While trends like the ‘Big Stay’ are still causing employees to stay put, this data tells us that a growing cohort of employees are more and more open to being convinced otherwise. The result is both an obstacle and an opportunity — spotlighting the importance of retention while also raising opportunities for more proactive recruitment efforts.

What others are saying about it 

Ben Keighley, founder of AI recruitment platform Socially Recruited, in conversation with HR magazine, points out the opportunity for identifying passive candidates: “Fierce competition for labour is driving pay rates upwards as sought-after candidates are offered lucrative salaries to prise them away from their current employer. In response, strategically minded employers are taking a highly targeted approach to recruitment, attracting desirable ‘passive’ candidates who may not have been actively seeking a change of employment.”

Turning to the authors of this latest study, Gaëlle de la Fosse, president of LHH, explains in conversation with Fortune: “[Employees are] waiting for the right moment to take action on a career change or a job change… Chances are if your company does not provide you with what you need, which is a career strategy for yourself, then you will go elsewhere.”

What that means for you

Depending on the state of your organisation and business, you may need to first make a decision on whether to focus on your retention or recruitment efforts. Given the sheer size of today’s passive talent pool, there may be plenty of people within your own workforce open to leaving.

If retention is more on your mind, consider the following: 

  • Stay interviews: Conduct stay interviews and speak with your top performers to get a sense of whether they’re happy and what is keeping them motivated in their role. 

  • Career progression: Leverage career development and progression, potentially through performance reviews, to keep people engaged and satisfied at work. 

  • Culture and purpose: Salary isn’t the sole driver of retention, so begin considering how your culture and your organisation’s mission is influencing retention. 

If you’re more focused on the flip side of the coin, here’s something to consider: 

  • Employer value proposition (EVP): Consider revisiting your EVP to see if it's convincing to passive candidates when your recruiters reach out to them. 

  • Total reward: Ensure that your total reward package is comprehensive and encompasses the benefits your target candidates want from a company. 

  • Employee referrals: Get your current employees to refer other talented individuals — leverage them as advocates for your employer brand. 

What else should I read? 

That's all for this week's edition of Personio Pulse: This Week in HR. Check back next week as we continue to dissect the latest trends impacting the ways we work. 

Want more from Personio?

Visit our HR Knowledge Hub | Book a free demo | Start your free trial

🎧 Our HR podcast, Tomorrow’s People 🎧

Hear about the hottest HR topics and how to improve how we work. Listen here.

Max Specht

Max Specht

Max Specht is a Workplace Trends Expert at Personio. He enjoys writing and discussing topics related to employee engagement, leadership development, HR technologies and how teams can respond to the latest trends.

Thousands of HR leaders read it every week

Event Personio Tour