If you are content and happy with your job, there is nothing about the organization that annoys you, and it is considerable time you checked out any opening or looked out for another opportunity then you certainly qualify to be a ‘passive candidate’.
A passive candidate is the latest buzzword amongst recruiters and the HR circle these days. The passive candidate is hard to comprehend and very challenging to recruit and is generally ‘content’ with his/her job. But it is not an easy task to actually identify and approach these passive candidates since they are not out in the open. So, how does an organization do this and what is the best way to do it?
A passive candidate, in the technical definition is one who is doing very well in his/her current role/job and would have nil motivation to think of a change in the near future. The most common route to identifying suitable passive candidates is through referral networks where company employees have their own associate circles in other forms and are willing to share that as recruiting source with HR.
The pre-requisite for such identification is an understanding of the characteristics of passive candidates. One cannot rely on technology for this as it needs the personal involvement and recruiters need to play the role of sales people. Recruiters need to have special training to be able to identify, approach and a recruit a passive candidate.
Identifying and approaching a passive candidate is one thing and approaching one is a different ball game altogether. What would then be the best approach to garb a passive candidate’s attention? What might turn a passive candidate’s head when it comes to recruitment? Be crystal clear about the role and reporting relationships and the deliverables. Know the business and business prospects thoroughly. Do proper ‘home work’ about the candidate. Respect the candidates’ need for confidentiality and provide space and time for enquiry. He / she can be approached through a professional head hunter who not only tries to understand the trigger points that could initiate the desire to change but also create an interest level in the new role buy highlighting the merits of the role. The candidate can also be approached for his or her recommendation of a suitable candidate for the role that you want to offer him/her.
The employment market is already flooding with active candidates seeking job opportunities or looking for a role change. Any organization must opt for identifying a passive candidate and approaching him/her instead if there are advantages with regards to the potential and skill of the candidate which suit the organization.
What are the advantages of approaching passive candidates? A passive candidate has an edge over an otherwise regular active one, only when he/she has turned around and is excited at the opportunity. The reason for this is that at this stage he/she is engaged in a single conversation only and is not actively doing a multi-source job-search. If things move as per plan the commitment to close is focused and more dependable making it worth the effort.
There is always a shortage when it comes to qualified professionals in the market place. Passive candidates are more stable focused in their careers and loyal to the organizations they belong to. When we recruit such candidates, we can be assured of having added an asset to the company whereas an active candidate could potentially be carrying baggage from their pervious employment experiences and may not end up being the right fit for us. Both, risk as well as the cost of recruitment are definitely higher with active candidates compared to passive ones.
Though active candidates have been the most sought after for a long time now in organizations, passive candidates are grabbing the limelight these days making organizations waiting to identify, approach and hence recruit them.