10 Questions to Ask Passive Candidates

Steve Lowisz
Imagine you have your sights set on a highly qualified, but passive candidate. You’ve done your research on this individual and their current company, and you’ve managed to get them to agree to a conversation with you.

Now what?

You want to have an open dialogue with the candidate to gauge just how passive they really are. Avoid coming off as transactional, this initial conversation is not about pitching a new role to them.

Once you get a candidate talking about their true motivations and career desires, you may help them realize that they’re more interested in new opportunities than they originally thought themselves.

Here are some great questions that will get your passive candidate thinking…

1. Before you accepted your current position, what initially motivated you to take it?

Do you find your role in the company equally as satisfying as it was when you first began?

3. Outside of compensation, what motivates you today in your current position?

4What is one thing that you would change about your job that could make it significantly better?

5. How do you feel about your work-life balance? Do you feel you have adequate time to manage your personal relationships and interests?

6. What do your opportunities for promotion within the company look like?

7. What type of role do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

8. Do you feel that your voice is heard and that others within the company value your insights? In what ways?

9. If you could, would you make any changes to your company culture?

10. Have you ever considered looking elsewhere for jobs at any point since you’ve worked there?

Wrapping up the conversation…

By the end of the conversation, the candidate will hopefully have a greater understanding about how they truly feel in their position today, and what they’d like their career to look like in the future. On top of that, you’ll have gained credibility in their eyes as a knowledgeable recruiter who is really trying to get to know them as a person.

Perhaps you will find that they are eager to have further discussions with you, or maybe that they are truly content where they’re at. If it happens to be the latter, don’t write them off completely. Stay in touch because you never know what the future holds.