Sourcing Passive Candidates

By Drew Rogers, Vice President of Business Development, Sails-Up

Often when recruiting, it’s easy to get stuck in the rut of using the same resources. We’ve all been there, continually scrapping the bottom of the barrel with a job board or LinkedIn, hoping to find a few last candidates that we somehow overlooked. Spending time in this way is frustrating and inefficient; the return on your investment of time isn’t likely to produce a strong volume or quality of candidates. 

Fortunately, there are lots of great, free resources that can provide an alternative candidate stream after we have exhausted our traditional recruiting tools. Below is a list of potential candidate streams available to everyone with access to the internet. is a great source for potential candidates. Searching for MeetUp groups in a specific area will yield an open list of candidates you can sift through and contact. MeetUp group member lists are usually published publically on the website. Simply find a relevant MeetUp group, and search through the profiles to find candidates worth chasing down. 


This may not always get you a home run, but tons of resumes are posted daily to Craigslist. Searching through the database may be a bit awkward, but the results have the potential to be surprising. Additionally, Craigslist doesn’t charge money to post a job in most markets. This can be a great tool to source non-traditional candidates.

Email Aggregate Sites

There are multiple websites with a variety of models that fill this niche. Communities like or are prime examples of tools you can use to hunt for candidate names and contact information. These websites usually have a free service where getting information out of the database requires contributing new information of your own. 


Surprisingly, there are a lot of candidates who host their own resumes and professional blogs online, but never proactively post them to job boards or LinkedIn. Good recruiters know that Google offers a very large toolbox of Advanced Search features that can be capitalized on. Try entering a traditional search string from Careerbuilder into Google’s search engine, and the results may surprise you. 

Twitter/Social Media

Finding good candidates isn’t always about finding a good resume. Sometimes we can find topics and people that draw the interest of the candidates you’re looking for. For example, finding a polarizing figure on Twitter can potentially yield numerous followers who are qualified and interested in the industry. The same can be done with Facebook, blogs, etc.