What are the key influencers which entice passive candidates to move?

Anyone who is an active LinkedIn user will almost definitely be receiving weekly, if not daily, InMails from Recruiters and Hiring Managers trying to entice them out of their current job and into a new one… Most of these will probably be boasting about a big salary increase, an exorbitant amount of holiday days or even ‘free beer Fridays’ – however, what does it actually take entice these candidates to sit at a competitors hiring table?

In a recent study of 10,000 respondents, 84% stated that they’d move organisation for an increase in salary however salary isn’t the only influencer in a job move, so what non-monetary influencers do passive candidates really value?

Flexible working and work-life balance

Recent research shows that 70% of candidates feel that the offer of flexible working makes a job more attractive to them, with 31% stating that they’d prefer the option of flexible working over a pay rise. It is therefore vital that business leaders, both looking to retain as well as attract staff, take their flexible working offering seriously!

In terms of who will be more influenced by a better flexible working offering, recent studies have found;

  • Woman are 34% more likely to ask for flexible working in comparison to men;
  • Millennials are the most likely generation to see flexible working as an influencer as they are unconvinced that excessive work demands are worth the sacrifice to their personal life. They’re therefore much more likely to move for greater flexible working opportunities rather than an increase in salary.


Benefits are vitally important in the current workplace and can hold more perceived value to a passive market candidate than a salary increase. Benefits can range from the extraordinary, i.e. Netflix offering unlimited holiday to their employees, to more menial things like free cinema tickets. However if you know the type of candidate demographic you’re trying to target then these benefits can be a real pull. Robertson Sumner did some research in 2017 and found the top sought after benefits to be the following:

Career progression

One of the best methods of attracting passive job seekers is via offering them a more senior position, either immediately or with a development plan to get them there in the near future. This is only really an option if the employer has the capability to train and develop new candidates in order to make up for any skill gaps. If a business is able to offer such progression opportunities this is one of the best ways to seduce passive market candidates. Recent CIPD research has shown that over 33% of the UK work force are disappointed with their current progression opportunities.

Company culture

Company culture is a hard way to seduce candidates off the passive market due to the fact that it is very hard to portray over a LinkedIn message or a phone call. However this is vital in order to attract and retain the correct people for your business. Out of the 16% of respondents who stated that they wouldn’t leave their current job whatever the salary, 100% were highly engaged, largely due to the company culture. However out of the 84% surveyed who would be open to leaving their current position, these employees will likely not be fully engaged with the culture at their current business – allowing any potential competitors an area to target in order to entice them to their hiring table. It is also obviously vitally important for both the candidate & employer to ensure that they’ll be a cultural fit within the new position otherwise they’ll soon be leaving…


To conclude, there are lots of ways to attract the passive candidate market but before you decide how you’re going to attract the right candidates to your business, first you have to ask yourself “who are you looking to target?”. Different candidates will value different aspects of your role and different perks etc. so once you decide the type of candidate and demographic you can devise a plan of how you’ll entice them to your hiring table. The strategy has to be bespoke to the candidate – the days of blanket template messages are dead!

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