The Long Game of Recruiting Passive Candidates: A “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” Approach on Social Media


In the complex arena of recruitment, companies must adapt to changing behaviors and platforms to attract the best talent. While traditional job boards and company websites remain valuable tools, the advent of social media has created an entirely new playing field—one that holds a considerable pool of ‘passive’ candidates. According to LinkedIn, nearly 70% of the global workforce are not actively job-hunting but are open to new opportunities. How then can companies tap into this seemingly elusive group effectively? Enter the “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” strategy—a method not just for sales and marketing, but a paradigm shift in recruitment.

Understanding the Passive Candidate

Passive candidates are those content in their current roles. They’re not visiting job boards, but they are frequently scrolling through social media for news, networking, or entertainment. They might not be actively looking, but a well-placed “hook” could get them interested—only after a series of well-executed “jabs,” of course.

The Jaw-Dropping Numbers

With 3.3 billion users on Facebook, 1.35 billion on Instagram, 2.5 billion on YouTube, and over 700 million on LinkedIn as of 2023, the scale is simply too large to ignore. These platforms are treasure troves for recruitment—if you play the game wisely.

The “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” Strategy Unveiled

This strategy, inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk’s acclaimed book, focuses on offering value before making an ask. In the recruitment context, the “jabs” are the value-driven, engaging content you put out to build a relationship with potential candidates. It could be insightful articles about industry trends, employee testimonials, or behind-the-scenes looks at your company culture. These jabs set the stage for your “right hook,” which is the job advertisement. It’s all about creating a journey that gets passive candidates gradually familiar with your brand so that when you finally throw a right hook, it lands effectively.

The Art of the “Jab”

Quality, consistent posting is at the heart of the “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” strategy. Share content that resonates with the values and interests of your target candidates. Think about what matters to them in their careers, what they aspire to achieve, and how your organisation aligns with those goals. The purpose here is not to sell but to inform, engage, and even entertain.

The Right Time for the “Right Hook”

The “Right Hook” isn’t just another post—it’s a calculated ask following a series of jabs. After you’ve built familiarity and trust through consistent, value-added posts, you can throw in a targeted job ad. By this point, your jabs have set the stage, making the candidate more likely to engage with your right hook.

The Credibility Factor, Revisited

Credibility isn’t built overnight. Each jab you throw—be it a blog post about industry trends, an employee success story, or a breakdown of your company’s innovative projects—builds your brand’s reputation. It makes the right hook, your job posting, far more compelling because you’ve already shown what you bring to the table.

The High Cost of Ignoring Passive Talent

Ignoring passive candidates can cost you not just in missed opportunities but also financially. A bad hire can be expensive, with costs sometimes amounting to a third of the employee’s annual salary. Why take the risk when you can strategise and lure the best?


Companies can’t afford to ignore the synergy between social media and passive candidate recruitment. The “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” strategy emphasises the journey, focusing on building relationships through consistent, quality posts, and then making your move with a well-timed right hook. It’s a long game but one that can pay off handsomely in the war for talent.

Take Action Now with Recmark

Don’t know where to start? As specialists in recruitment marketing, Recmark can help you build and implement a “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” strategy tailored to your unique recruitment needs. Contact us today for a free consultation because, in today’s world, not being on social media doesn’t make you invisible—it makes you irrelevant.

The Crucial Role of Response Time in Engaging Passive Candidates: Why Every Minute Counts


The recruitment landscape is evolving, and one clear trend is the increasing importance of engaging passive candidates. While these candidates may not be actively searching for new job opportunities, their talents are often invaluable. The catch? Time is of the essence when communicating with them. Statistics reveal that the speed of your initial message after an application has been made can significantly impact your engagement rate. In this blog, we will explore the vital role of response times and how various tools like automation, email, SMS, and booking websites can enhance the process.

The Narrow Window for Passive Candidates

It’s crucial to understand that passive candidates are usually content in their existing roles, so your opportunity to grab their attention is limited. According to a study by, the odds of contacting a lead decrease by 10x in the first hour. Essentially, time is ticking from the moment a passive candidate shows any form of interest.

Why Automation is a Game-Changer

The instant world of today does not wait. A survey by Drift found that the average lead response time for 433 companies was a staggering 47 hours. Automation can reduce this drastically, engaging candidates within moments of their interaction with your brand. Chatbots can even carry out initial screenings, asking pre-set questions to gauge the suitability of the candidate, keeping their interest piqued while you prepare for a more personal engagement.

Email: The Personal Touch

Despite the rise of newer platforms, email remains a go-to channel for business communication. The key lies in personalisation and timing. Automated email sequences can serve double-duty by sending out personalised responses within minutes of a candidate’s interaction with your brand. According to HubSpot, response rates drop by 400% if a lead is contacted after 10 minutes, highlighting the importance of rapid email communication.

SMS: Quick and Direct

With a staggering open rate of 98%, SMS is the juggernaut of instant communication. Studies show that text messages have a 45% response rate, making it an excellent channel for quick follow-ups or interview scheduling.

Booking Websites: Empowering Candidates

Booking platforms eliminate the back-and-forth usually involved in scheduling interviews, thus reducing the overall response time. A study by Accenture suggests that 89% of customers get frustrated because they need to repeat their issues to multiple representatives. Booking websites solve this problem by allowing candidates to pick time slots themselves, reducing time wastage and increasing efficiency.

Speed Equals Respect

In recruitment, rapid response times signify that you value the candidate’s time. This is particularly crucial for passive candidates who are already limited on time. Slow response times can negatively impact your company’s image and even affect candidate morale. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 67% of job seekers say they would accept a lower salary if the company had exceptionally positive reviews online, which often include candidate experience during the recruitment process.


When recruiting passive candidates, speed is not a luxury; it’s an essential part of the strategy. Fast communication, empowered by modern tools, signifies a respectful and efficient recruitment process.

Take the Next Step with Recmark

Take the Next Step with Recmark: Transform Your Recruitment Communications 24/7

Imagine a hiring process where the initial SMS is sent within 5 minutes of an application, followed by a tailored series of emails nudging the candidate towards the next steps. Visualise an effortless booking system, synced directly to your calendar, allowing candidates to schedule interviews at their convenience—even if it’s 3 a.m.

That’s not just a vision; it’s a reality with Recmark. We can build out your entire communication funnel, making it fully automated yet incredibly personal. It’s like having your own dedicated hiring team working tirelessly 24/7, 365 days a year, to move candidates seamlessly through your recruitment process—even while you sleep.

Don’t miss out on high-quality talent due to inefficient communication. Contact us for a free consultation today and let Recmark transform your recruitment strategy into an around-the-clock operation.

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