Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Myth: Passive Candidates

Ok. For those asking what or who are passive-candidates, here’s the explanation. Passive candidates are people who aren’t interested in looking for a new job, unless they come across a very good opportunity which they may consider.

I’ve been hiring long enough to confess that: There are no ‘passive candidates’. They are only folks who haven’t heard from you!

Previously I had written about selling capabilities of a recruiter here that acts like a differentiator. Just the way we differentiate active & inactive candidates, it works the same way around, there are active & inactive recruiters. The job-boards, employee referrals, job fairs, online ads, have made it easy on folks looking out for a job change & easier for recruiters to get more resumes. These events churn out so many resumes that a recruiter’s time schedule is filled with sifting through tons of resumes. Why do I list these differences? It’s because hiring managers & recruiters are in search of elusive candidates whose resume didn’t turn up through any of these searches. Why then do we have these resume sources in the first place? It used work about 10 years back, when they were the ‘in’ thing. Not any more. They are just traditional recruitment business models.

Why do we assume that candidates who don’t send their resume are passive? For one, they may never have read your ad, been to job fairs, don’t see the need to place their resume on job boards. They just don’t know enough about your company yet. Maybe the medium you are using to spread your message is a passive one! Do you have something great to tell them? Tickle there grey-cells? Through a channel that reaches great talent. Like a really great product or service. If not, then tough luck. Your efforts are really yielding what you asked for, so don’t complain or find reasons to blame.

Here’s what I tell recruiters. Don’t make your life tougher than it already is. There’s enough fish in the sea to select from. Don’t go looking for that elusive yet-to-be-found approach. There’s enough talent to select from. It prompts me to ask, “Does your company really need great talent?” After all, if you had marketed your job well enough, then they’ll come by themselves looking to be trapped!

Start thinking…