Passive candidate: a currently employed individual who isn’t actively seeking another job, but would leave if the right opportunity arose.
Why do employers seek out these candidates?
According to Chris Garrie, Vice President of Recruitment for the Oldcastle Recruiting Office in Rochester, “passive candidates are happy and successful in their current position. Generally, they tend to be more loyal and have a higher potential of being successful in a new role. They tend to be more selective, only pursuing opportunities that are of great interest. In contrast, active job seekers who are out of work need to get a job quickly.”
4 Tips For Passive Candidates:
1) Be receptive to recruiters
Unfortunately, there is a stigma when it comes to recruiters. If recruiters contact you, call or e-mail them back! You have nothing to lose. Even if the opening is not something you want, you never know what that recruiter will come across in the future. A good recruiter knows who they are looking for and won’t waste your time if there is not a mutual fit. Keep those lines of communication open!
2) Don’t assume your current job is going to last forever
Things can change in an instant, despite tenure or great work performance. Even the most stable and successful companies experience downturns. Better to be sought after while you’re employed, than to start a job search without a steady income or job to fall back on.
3) Make sure your resume and your LinkedIn profile are up-to-date
You can be a great passive candidate, but recruiters won’t reach out if they can’t find you! Your profile and resume should contain the right job title and keywords for your industry AND showcase quantifiable qualifications. Don’t just list job duties. Demonstrate how you helped increase sales, saved money or improved efficiency levels for your current employer. Numbers, stats and percentages really help you stand out.
4) Don’t be overconfident
Passive candidates DO have an added advantage in the job search process, but it’s no guarantee you will get the job. In the end, it still boils down to a combination of skills, personality and company/cultural fit. Make the most of your passive status, but remember – there are many other passive candidates out there besides you!
In general, passive job seekers have an edge because they can always turn down an opportunity, whereas the unemployed job seeker may not have the same luxury. While this may not be fair, it is a reality for job seekers. If you have any inkling that things are not going well at work for you or your company, put those feelers out. You are in a far better position to find a better job and negotiate for a better salary when you’re a passive candidate.