Everything you need to know about reverse recruiting
April 17, 2024
min read

Everything you need to know about reverse recruiting

Rebeka Meszaros
Rebeka Meszaros

Facing a stark talent shortage — especially in fields like tech and healthcare — where job vacancies outnumber available candidates, companies are adopting a proactive approach. Now, companies are reaching out to potential candidates directly, instead of waiting for them to apply. This approach is getting more popular because it lets companies find the specific talent they need, especially for specialised roles.

Reverse recruiting platforms have emerged as a result of this manual hiring practice. Reverse recruiting platforms act as a middleman between companies and specialised talent. These platforms are popular among recruiters because they save recruiters from doing manual outreach and provide them with warm leads. The candidates they connect with on the platform are all jobseekers. 

We'll look at how reverse recruiting platforms work and why they're beneficial for both job seekers.

What is reverse recruiting? 

The common way to fill an empty position at a company is to post a job ad and then sit back as hundreds of interested jobseekers express interest in the role. The recruiter can then sort through the applications and find a suitable candidate to interview, among other things. Unfortunately, this process of posting a job ad and boosting it on LinkedIn doesn’t always work. Especially when advertising for specialised positions, it’s common to receive little to no interest from job seekers. And that’s because the job ad is not finding its way to the right candidates.

At this point, recruiters typically turn to active sourcing and will start contacting potential candidates who fit the job criteria and encouraging them to apply for the position. This is usually done with LinkedIn, where you can connect and message people through their professional profiles. However, active sourcing can be time-consuming and often, the people contacted aren't looking to switch jobs, which makes this approach less effective for filling roles quickly.

This is where reverse recruiting comes in. Companies that don’t have the resources or time to actively source candidates may opt for a reverse recruiting solution via a specialised platform. However, these platforms work a little bit differently – recruiters don’t encourage job seekers to apply to their ads; instead, they send offers or interview invites to the candidates. That’s why it’s called reverse recruiting: because, in a way, companies are expressing interest in candidates rather than the other way around.  

Here's a quick step-by-step guide to how it works:

  1. Spot the need: Identify the specific roles that are tough to fill the usual way.
  2. Pick a platform: Find a reverse recruiting platform that fits what you're looking for.
  3. Set up: Create a profile for your company on the platform and list the roles and skills you need.
  4. Look for candidates: Use the platform to find candidates that match your job requirements.
  5. Reach out: Directly send job offers or invites for an interview to potential candidates.
  6. Talk to them: Start conversations with candidates interested in the role and give them more info about the job and company.
  7. Interview and decide: Conduct interviews and, if it's a good fit, make an offer to the right candidate.

The standout feature of reverse recruiting is its proactive nature. It doesn't wait for candidates to come knocking; it goes out and finds them. This approach is especially handy for nabbing passive candidates — those not actively looking but open to switching for the right role. 

Targeting passive candidates lets companies tap into a wider pool of talent and reach people with the skills and experience they need — but who might not see a job ad. Focusing on these passive candidates means companies are more likely to find and hire the right people for their team. This way, companies can connect with top-notch professionals who are already in positions that prove they can do the job and add value to their business.

It's a win-win: companies get access to top talent they might not find through traditional means, and candidates get nudged towards opportunities they didn't even know they were looking for.

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What is a reverse recruitment platform? 

When people talk about RR, they refer to the platforms that offer matchmaking services between companies and specialised talent. A reverse recruiting platform is essentially a community of specialised and curated talent that companies can pay to access. RR platforms also offer a range of additional recruiting services that help accelerate the hiring process, such as personalised matchmaking, community engagement, brand pages, and so on.     

Key components of these platforms include:

  • Specialised job boards focus on specific industries or skills, which makes it easier for recruiters to attract the right candidates quickly and reduce the time spent sifting through unsuitable resumes. Job seekers find these boards useful as they display job postings that match their skills and career ambitions.
  • Matchmaking algorithms automatically match job descriptions with candidate profiles based on skills and experience. This saves recruiters from manually reviewing each candidate and speeds up the hiring process. For job seekers, this means receiving job matches that are well-suited to their qualifications, which helps them find relevant jobs more efficiently.
  • These platforms build and maintain active professional communities through events and workshops. Building on his continuous engagement, they nurture a pool of candidates ready for recruiters, which helps fill positions faster. For job seekers, these communities offer networking opportunities and exposure to potential employers.

Platforms like WeAreDevelopers, along with others such as Hired, follow a similar ethos. They differentiate themselves by how they engage with both companies and candidates. For instance, some RR platforms offer an annual subscription model for companies, allowing unlimited job postings and access to candidate profiles without the traditional commission per hire. This model encourages continuous interaction with the platform, ensuring businesses have steady access to a dynamic talent pool.

But it's not one-size-fits-all; some platforms still charge per hire, and the features vary. While some are all about matching you directly with potential candidates, others let you post job ads, too, offering different ways to find the right fit.

Benefits of reverse recruiting platform for candidates 

Reverse recruiting platforms offer candidates a previously unheard-of level of control over their career paths. These platforms are designed with the candidate’s experience in mind — and provide a range of benefits that cater directly to those looking for their next big opportunity.

1. Broad opportunity exposure

One major advantage of reverse recruiting platforms is access to a broader spectrum of job opportunities. This means you get access to positions that are not advertised publicly and are typically filled through internal connections or direct outreach by recruiters. On a reverse recruiting platform, companies looking for specific skills can reach out to you directly with job offers. This passive job search approach means that you are visible to potential employers who know you are open to opportunities — even if you are currently employed — and they initiate contact with you. As a candidate, you benefit from receiving highly relevant job offers without actively searching, saving you time and effort. Plus, using these platforms is usually free for talent, which adds another layer of benefit.

2. Streamlined employer interactions

Another key benefit is the way these platforms streamline interactions with potential employers. Instead of the usual resume and cover letter submissions, companies apply directly to candidates, which often leads straight to an interview. And, depending on the platform, candidates may also receive salary information upfront, which then significantly reduces the usual back-and-forth associated with job applications.

3. Tailor-made job suggestions

These platforms aren't just throwing any old job your way. They use sophisticated algorithms to match your skills, experience, and career aspirations with suitable roles — saving you time in the job hunt. Often, a recruiter from the platform will personally present your profile to companies and ensure that you're matched with positions that truly suit your qualifications and interests.

4. Supportive ecosystem

Finally, the supportive nature of these platforms cannot be overstated. They're built to assist job seekers every step of the way, from creating an appealing profile to preparing for interviews. This supportive ecosystem ensures you're not just another resume in a pile but a valued member of a professional community, increasing your chances of landing that dream job.

Benefits of reverse recruiting platforms for hiring managers and recruiters

For hiring managers, reverse recruiting platforms also bring a host of advantages that make finding and hiring top talent faster, cheaper and more effective. These platforms are changing the game in how we discover, connect with, and hire skilled candidates.

1. Access to a vetted talent pool

First, these platforms provide direct access to a pool of talent that’s been pre-vetted. This means the candidates you interact with have already been assessed to ensure they meet the basic requirements of your open roles. This not only saves a significant amount of time typically spent reviewing resumes but also means you don't have to run them through basic tests. You can jump straight to the interview process, focusing less on filtering candidates and more on interviewing those with genuine potential.

2. Efficiency gains

Reverse recruiting accelerates the recruitment cycle. Since candidates are proactively seeking opportunities, the time from posting a job to receiving applications from interested and qualified candidates is significantly reduced. This efficiency doesn’t just speed up the process; it also reduces the costs associated with prolonged vacancy periods.

3. Reaching passive talent

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages is the ability to connect with the passive talent pool. These professionals — often with high skill levels and not actively looking for new jobs — hold the expertise needed for specialised roles. They might already have several opportunities but remain open to switching jobs for the right offer, particularly in fields where talent is in high demand and most qualified candidates are already employed. The difficult bit is identifying who's open to new opportunities without risking annoyance. Reverse recruiting platforms tackle this by discreetly showcasing your roles and company culture to these candidates, making it easier to approach those who are the perfect fit for niche positions without the guesswork of their openness to new job offers.

4. Direct and meaningful engagement

Direct engagement means you get straight to the point, saving everyone's time with no unnecessary steps or back-and-forth. This approach means candidates hear about jobs that really match their skills, including clear salary info right from the start. It’s a win-win: candidates get a straightforward, hassle-free experience, and companies can quickly see if there’s a good fit,  and focus on finalising the important details.

Key takeaways

Reverse recruiting platforms are transforming how talent and companies connect by solving some of the key challenges employers face filling their recruitment pipeline. These platforms offer a streamlined and efficient solution for employers struggling to find specialised talent. They cut through the noise, and directly link employers with pre-vetted talent who are open to a new job. This approach speeds up hiring and also ensures a better match between the company’s needs and the candidate’s skills and career goals.

If finding technical talent is a challenge for your company, consider checking out WeAreDevelopers. They offer a platform that connects companies with thousands of developers and tech professionals across Europe.


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