Back to the blog

Reaching Passive Candidates Requires Specialized Recruiting Efforts


Internal recruiters are facing big challenges in today’s tight labor market as acquiring top talent becomes more laborious.


While job search engines and social networks such as LinkedIn have given HR teams better access to active candidates, today’s marketplace requires more strategic and specialized recruiting efforts to gain the attention of passive candidates, HR professionals say.


“Reaching passive candidates requires extensive networks and relationships, and these things need to be in place well before you need them,” said Kristie GraySmith, executive director of human resources at Jackson Marketing, Motorsports & Events.


That’s one reason Jackson uses FGP.  


“Recruiters develop relationships and networks over time and having access to that pool of talent often helps the process go much faster,” GraySmith said. “For highly specialized or critical positions that need immediate results, outsourcing can be the better option.”


AFL Global Human Resources Director Ryan Burns agrees that the efforts offered and provided by FGP recruiters add to the value of the processes the company follows within its internal HR group. 


“Over the last decade of my career, but specifically the last 18 months, FGP has been a huge resource and partner to our HR and recruiting strategy at AFL,” Burns said. “FGP has supported us on several executive, professional and administrative level searches, not to mention the occasional temporary or contractor need.


“Marisa, Blake and team are always responsive, informative and thorough,” Burns explained. “It is nice to know that when our plates are full, we have a resource we trust and depend on to handle whatever challenge we send their way.”


A recruiting firm that takes the time to learn and understand a company’s culture and can effectively communicate its brand is a particularly valuable extension of the in-house HR team, HR pros say.


“FGP has a good feel for our company structure and organization,” GraySmith said. “All companies talk about wanting a collaborative environment, but at a marketing firm, it’s critical that our associates are able to effectively communicate, collaborate and get along.”


HR managers all agree that the more time spent thinking strategically about recruiting, acquiring and retaining top talent, the better. But devoting the necessary time among so many other day-to-day tasks is the challenge.


“HR departments, especially at a company our size, tend to be lean,” said GraySmith, who previously worked in manufacturing and legal environments. “Even with a dedicated recruiter on staff, the logistics of advertising job openings, filtering through hundreds of resumes, scheduling interviews and meeting with candidates can be overwhelming, particularly when you’re hiring for several positions at one time.”

FGP services include direct hire search, temporary talent, technology recruiting, HR consulting and outplacement. Our recruiting teams specialize in accounting and finance, government, healthcare, human resources, manufacturing and engineering, nonprofit, office support, sales and marketing and technology. Learn more at