Sometimes the best candidates aren’t the ones looking for a job.

There are many students and new grads out there that might not be actively seeking employment at that moment, but if the right position came along, they would definitely be interested and very qualified.

Maybe they’re continuing their education, or taking some time off to travel – whatever the case may be, these types of passive student and new grad candidates are a highly underrated group worth a second look by employers. For example pursuing a postgraduate degree or certificate shows a high level of dedication that many employers look for in new hires. An added bonus? Since they’re not on the job hunt, these individuals are not likely to be interviewing with other companies.

To help you attract this hidden talent pool, we’ve examined five types of highly desirable passive candidates and the required steps to reach them.

1. Soon-to-be grad students

Whether they’re pursuing their Master’s or a Ph.D, these academically-focused grads don’t necessarily have employment on their minds. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that they are a very attractive group for recruiters – with their strong grades and faculty recommendations, they’re a great source of talent for your team.

For this segment, focus on attracting them to your company, not your jobs. Essentially, your recruitment messaging should address their ultimate question: “Why should I work for this company, and why do other great people work here?” This can be accomplished by developing a strong campus presence and forming placement partnerships with universities. While grad students probably won’t be able to commit to a permanent full-time position right away, building a strong employer brand will ensure that they’ll come knocking at your door when they do finish their studies.

2. Night students

This demographic mostly consists of established professionals with full-time jobs who are looking to take their careers to the next level. However, with their combination of work experience and a proven willingness to learn, this is a talent pool that you don’t want to miss. After all, you never know who might be looking to make the “hop” to another company.

A big reason why people change jobs is a lack of advancement opportunities. Additionally, in a recent survey by LinkedIn, 49% of respondents said their biggest obstacle to changing jobs was not knowing what it would be like to work at a new organization. Therefore, an egg-cellent way to woo these students is to turn your employees into brand advocates. An employee’s personal story about how they’ve grown with your company will build trust with potential candidates, while also giving them the extra motivation they need to make the switch.

Tip: Creating a video testimonial with TalentEgg is a great way to spread the word about your amazing company! Learn more about the ways we can help you build your brand on our Employers page.

3. Online and remote students

Students in this category may actually be active job seekers – but if they’re located outside of your typical recruitment area, they might not be on your radar. Nevertheless, even if they can’t physically attend a networking night or a campus career fair, they might still be willing to relocate after graduation for the right opportunity.

Unsurprisingly, a digital approach is the best way to attract this particular group. Don’t miss any touchpoints – all your online recruitment marketing channels, from your career site, to social media, to your employer profiles – are opportunities to create a relationship. Be sure to digitize your interview process as well. For example, video chat programs like Skype or Google Hangout are great ways to engage your long-distance candidates!

Employer Spotlight: Located in beautiful northern British Columbia, TalentEgg employer Northern Health often highlights their unique rural location (and the egg-cellent work-life balance it offers!) to attract candidates from across the country.

4. First and second-years

The traditional campus recruiting approach focuses on graduating seniors, but in today’s competitive job market, students are becoming career-minded at an earlier age. Additionally, with so many new educational avenues such as technology boot camps and online video tutorials, these underclassmen might be savvier than you think.

First and second-year students are primarily focused on skills development and they’re typically attracted to innovative employers who are willing to try new things. To engage this unique group, try gamifying your recruitment experiences. For example, launching a TalentEgg Challenge will help position your organization as a millennial-focused brand, while also giving these passive candidates the opportunity to gain experience and test the waters of working for your brand. Win-win!

5. Gap year students

Last but certainly not least, we have the “gap year” students, or in other words, individuals who are taking time off from their studies to volunteer, travel, and more. Characterized by a strong sense of independence and adventure, this cohort has a unique set of skills that differentiates them from their peers. Another plus? Studies show that taking a year off leads to increased job satisfaction later on.

So how do you tap into this segment of students? Become a trusted resource for them with content marketing. This group is likely still deciding what type of career path they want to pursue. Therefore, a targeted strategy should focus on producing content that inspires, educates, and solves their problems. With a readily engaged audience, it will be much easier to recruit the next time you have a specific need.

While they might not be actively on the job hunt, passive student and new grad candidates are invaluable for building a strong and diverse talent pipeline. This highly skilled demographic has a wealth of knowledge and experience that any employer would be lucky to have!

Discussion: What’s your approach for targeting passive candidates?