On recruiting passive candidates, not...

Quote for the Day: Monday, July 2nd, 2007

"I really do hate to buck this week's trend, but passive candidates are no better than active candidates. Passive candidates are simply people who are not looking to change jobs, but that does not make them better candidates any more than it makes active candidates bad because they are looking for another opportunity."

Howard Adamsky, The Myth of the Passive Candidate

File under:
Recruiting, Sourcing Strategy, Recruiter Training

Views: 97

Comment by Noah Roth on July 2, 2007 at 10:05am
Passive candidates are not intrinsically more qualified, and in fact present significant challenges not present in active candidates, as Adamsky points out.

However most of clients can find the active candidates on their own, and for far less money. One of the major reasons they turn to recruiters is an insufficient pool of active candidates who meet the job requirements, and a lack of resources to source passive candidates.

There are many cases, when passive candidates actually represnt the recruiter's value add.
Comment by Slouch on July 2, 2007 at 10:45am
If a recruiter calls a candidate and he is very active but has not submitted their resume or been presented by another recruiter to your client, and the client loves the candidate and writes you a check because they hired your candidate, it was a great candidate even though they were active.
Comment by Jim Damico on July 2, 2007 at 4:47pm
I believe the real high value from a passive candidate is realized if you are selecting the specific passive candidate you want to recruit. I've always coupled my recruiting with strong research, so that when we have an opening, I can reach out and target the individuals that we want, that we know have a track record of making positive impacts.
As I've analyzed the performance of active vs passive candidates recruited into my last employer, there was a very clear measurable performance differential between passive and active candidates, with the passives outperforming the actives on average by 15% in annual sales their first year, and then spreading the gap even more year over year.
Comment by sandy miller on July 3, 2007 at 2:58pm
I agree that Passive candidates aren't better. But they are different. The problem is you can spend your budget advertising to the same active audience. Either you have interviewed these applicants and chosen not to hire them or for whatever reason they have decided not to apply.
Passive applicants are a fresh pool of talent to show the opportunities in your organization. The idea is to spend your dollars so that you can reach out to active and passive to give you the best group of candidates to hire.


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