By Daniel C. Simmons, CPC

Recruiting in agriculture can be difficult. Unemployment levels for professionals or managers in agriculture is extremely low, therefore, passive candidates will always be significantly greater in number than active ones.   Passive candidates are those that are aren’t actively looking for a new job.  They are passively and selectively looking for further their career. In most cases, these candidates are your best bets to fill positions. They are gainfully employed and career minded.  Therefore, they are usually quite contented with their current jobs and will only take a job where they feel it is a great match for their skills and ambitions.  Here are a few tips to help you recruit these passive candidates.

Schmooze and Familiarize

I tell my stable of recruiters to network heavily. However, that doesn’t mean adding random people on Facebook or LinkedIn. You have to make a connection. Reach out and engage the person by commenting on their posts or sending them information that will interest them.  However, online isn’t enough, for best results you should have real-life connections.  Therefore, I encourage my recruiters to go to industry seminars and events that are relevant to the people they desire to recruit.  This allows them to network and learn “who’s who” in the field they recruit in.  This article by Recruitment Coach explains it all.

Developing connections with passive candidates, people who aren’t looking for a new job “just now,” opens doors for employers and recruiters. These passive candidates may introduce friends to them to help fill open jobs. These high-profile hires are hard to come by, hence the importance of networking and making connections.

Be Visible on Social Media

The best way to sell is not to really “sell’” but rather, to be visible and interesting. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are sites where you can showcase your employment openings and share insights into your corporate culture.  Remember to show career paths.  No one wants a job, they want a career path. Being visible and active on these platforms will work on future candidates on a subconscious level.

You want to be remembered and visible when someone has a bad day at work and decides it’s time for a change or has spent the weekend contemplating their life’s goals and realize it is time for a career shift.  They may then be scrolling newsfeeds or recruiter/employer pages on LinkedIn or Facebook on the weekend or at night. Being a familiar name and face will raise the probability that they will contact you.

Keep in mind that most job needs today are catered toward Generation X and Millennials. Both consume online content at least 5 to 10 hours each week, according to an article by Social Times.

Post Relevant and Insightful Content

Content is underplayed these days. Share information about new products, where your technical experts are speaking, when your team will be at a trade show. My recruiters stay active by browsing through industry news, it pays to know the field they recruit in and who matters.  Passive job seekers do this as well.

Also, every generation in the workforce prefers blog articles. Want to know how to hire and retain talent from different workforce generations? We’ll have a free ebook about recruiting across generations out in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

If you want more recruitment tips, feel free to visit my site, Continental Search. We have lots of training material that will help employers who are looking for fresh strategies. If you desire the talents of professional recruiters to fill your recruiting needs, feel free to contact me to see if we can help.

Dan Simmons, CPC, Sr. Recruiter

How to Recruit Passive Talent

As Owner of Continental Search, Dan leads a team of 4 recruiters who search for talented leaders and solo contributors to fill positions for feed companies and their suppliers.

Dan Simmons has 25 years of experience recruiting and has worked in the animal nutrition industry since 2002.  As owner of Continental Search, his firm has helped hundreds of professionals find positions that advanced their careers.    Visit Dan’s LinkedIn profile for more information and relevant updates regarding the animal science industry.

Dan can be reached directly at (888) 276-6789 or at