We are asked all the time about whether we source passive or active candidates and what tools and tactics we use in reaching those candidates. A popular term for recruiters is Purple Squirrel when asked to describe the hardest candidate to find. And BTW, I did see one in Indiana last fall!
When you find a very strong candidate who does not have his/her resume on a job board, you look good to your client. After all, I'm told all the time, "We don't need you to find resumes that are on the job boards". We can do that ourselves!
Some hiring managers have decided that candidates found on the job boards are not good or they are damaged in some way. When I hear that I think to myself, I hope that they don't find themselves a victim of a layoff or an outsourcing effort because their resume will be in a job board database whether they like it or not. Somehow we have to fight the perception that active candidates aren't as strong as passive candidates. It simply is not the case.
We recruit both active and passive candidates. Why?
We strive to get the very best candidate interested in your opening. Why miss anyone? Whether the candidate is active or passive, they will talk freely with us and probably not as freely with you. Just because you have a great opportunity (a very pressing opening), the candidate has needs and wants also. Candidates need to be ready and prepared to leave their current job. Starting out fresh and evaluating a job opportunity takes the average passive candidate a lot of time to process it all. Candidates tell me all the time that they have built a reputation and a group of friends at one place and it’s very hard to cut ties and leave. A new job is not just a career move, it’s also a new commute and a new office to sit in. There are lots of things to think about; from a daily routine, to the relationships you’ve made to the summer picnics and parties. It's scary to think about leaving and starting all over.
Active candidates want a new routine, a new group of friends and relationships, and a new challenge. They desperately want a new challenge. They are eager to hear about a company's job opening so that they can have the opportunity to earn a good paycheck and contribute to solving new problems.
We focus on recruiting both active and passive candidates and I urge you to also. When you do reach out to passive candidates, find out what motivates them because that is what will attract them to your opportunity. It's not the money or a shorter commute. All candidates want the same thing. They want to work with great people, to be challenged every day, and be seen as a person of value to the organization.
If you struggle with balancing recruiting both active and passive candidates, give us a call so we work with you to map a strategy to target both effectively.