The Pros and Cons of Passive Candidates

April 16, 20157:29 am1421 views

Once we heard that 75% of our next employees are passive candidates. The most popular professional social network, LinkedIn, boasts on its website that 30% of job listing views are from passive job seekers.

Talent acquisition managers are also welcome to the trend towards hiring passive candidates, defined as someone who currently has a job but would be open to taking a better one. Almost one out of five people who are currently employed claim they have been approached by a recruiter for a position they did not apply for.

Why are passive candidates desired? (The Pros)

Job seekers who are currently employed are at an advantage, due both to their own resourcefulness as well as existing stereotypes. HR professionals are considering them as taking their careers and jobs very seriously. Another reason these passive candidates are perceived as more attractive, explains a blog post by Intuit, is that these passive job seekers are currently gaining experience.

Employed professionals never lost their focus to the latest technology and information in their industry. They are also developing their skills by actively working each day. In other word, they are most likely the stand-out candidates than the active job seekers.

Challenges of Passive Candidates (The Cons)

Looking up the current employees of a competitor on LinkedIn and systematically sending messages to recruit them is often called poaching. In some situations, it may be ill-mannered, but LinkedIn, with its detailed search functions, is an effective way to discover talent.

Jani Strand, VP of public relations at Redfin, says she found her ideal candidate on LinkedIn. “It’s a great way to target exactly what you are looking for,” she says, “but then actually closing the deal is more difficult.”

As much as someone might be open to taking on a more challenging position, at a bigger company, or a larger role at a small company — taking a new job feels like buying a high price tag product that you might not be able to return.

“People who are comfortable in their current jobs have a deep-seated worry that they could be giving up something that makes them happy if they move to a new company,” says Bridget Frey, VP of engineering at Redfin. “The more they know about the new opportunity — the people, the office, the mission — the less risky it will seem to them.”

Taralee Brady, manager of talent acquisition at Go Daddy, says her most effective recruiting comes from LinkedIn, or through referrals from current employees. While employed candidates are perceived as having proven experience (they have perhaps survived layoffs), she doesn’t rule out unemployed candidates.

“We don’t ask who is looking for a job — we ask who would be great at the job, and reach out to them — whether they’re working or not,” claimed Brady.

Hiring passive candidates requires a more persuasive approach. Do you want to easily hire someone who is looking for a job? Or do you want to challenge yourself by trying to steal an employee from another company? Your choice.

See: Are You a Modern Recruiter?

The original article first appeared on Mashable.

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