Article: Why Passive Candidates Are Important To Recruiters by Cathy Lim : Article: Why Passive Candidates Are Important To Recruiters by Cathy Lim :
Why passive candidates are important to recruiters
By Cathy Lim,
Performance Personnel Inc.

Passive candidate: that is the new “buzz” phrase these days in the recruiting world; everyone talks about it and believes that passive candidates are indeed important to recruiters. Passive candidates are considered to be more desirable because it is assumed they are performing well at their jobs and feel generally fulfilled. They consequently spend little time looking for other opportunities. Conversely, “active candidates” by definition, are unfulfilled in some dimension of their careers, thus leading them to launch a job search.

Based on our client feedback of desirable candidate traits, the passive candidate embodies many of the desirable characteristics they seek. I am not implying that active candidates are any less qualified, but a client wants a passive candidate for a number of reasons: Passive candidates are usually more stable in their current job and company; are less demanding because they might be perceived to more easily handle the ups and downs that every company goes through; and there is a stronger likelihood that passive candidates are more loyal and committed – they aren’t found online surfing job boards.

Many of our clients also believe that the relationship between an employee and employer should ideally be similar to the dynamic found in a happy marriage of long term partners. In this context, how happy is the married individual who surfs through personal ads regularly to see “what is out there”? Active candidates generally are less satisfied with their job which could be interpreted as being more demanding, and to some extent less loyal, such they feel the need to find the next best thing. Granted, these comments do not necessarily apply to candidates in a job such as sales where being driven, assertive and outgoing makes them more appealing.

For agency recruiters, finding and placing passive candidates are extremely important because this is what ultimately validates our existence in the eyes of our clients. Our value-added ROI of finding great candidates is not in blanketing job boards with postings and merely collecting resumes to redistribute but to leverage our network and make those ever-dreaded cold-calls.
Although “search” has been a staple for executive recruit assignments for decades, it is about to go mainstream for all positions.

In our next installment, we will explain how.


Cathy Lim, President
Performance Personnel Inc.


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