Recruiting 101: Forget 'Active' vs. 'Passive'

For as long as I've been a recruiter (and probably even longer than that) there has been a methodology perpetuated among recruiters that 'passive' candidates are somehow better than 'active' candidates. The truth is, neither of these talent pools is very desirable. At least, not nearly as desirable as an 'Active Passive' candidate.

What's an 'Active Passive' candidate?

This is a candidate who is probably happy in their job but for the sake of making themselves "open to contact" they include certain details in their publicly searchable profiles and information. A lot of recruiters I know turn their nose up at MySpace as a potential recruiting pool. What's funny to me about that is - there are plenty of teenagers still on MySpace, which means that there are still plenty of parents on MySpace. Moreover, MySpace profile details include information about where you work and what job you do, so that other people can find you and network with you based on that information. I think Facebook missed that memo. Sure, you can recruit from Facebook but it's much harder to do because they have everyone all freaked out about privacy issues. Guess what? If you search MySpace, you'll still find matches even if the profiles are private - and from there you can message the person to find out more. Remember, 'Active Passive' candidates really want to be found - they just don't want to put their resume out on a job board! Especially when you consider security breaches that have taken place on job sites like

One of the biggest obstacles to recruiting 'Active Passive' candidates is the time consumption. It takes a lot of time to search each potential social site and figure out which search terms work on that particular site. If you have lots of time on your hands you could learn Boolean and X-Ray techniques from some industry experts and use your acquired knowledge in Google or Bing to produce the results. Be honest - do you have time for that? Be honest - will you remember that? Be honest - will you still use that or will you continue to search for something easier?

Being a recruiter is a hard job - you wear many hats and are required to have at least 4 arms with which to function. At least, if you want to make money you do! Placements = Success whether you're corporate or agency so the more placements you can make in a shorter period of time the better. PERIOD!

Here comes the part where I tell you about the product I helped to develop in order to streamline the recruitment of 'Active Passive' candidates: JobShouts Social Search. I promise the intent of my post is not to sell you on any product, but to advise you of a GREAT product developed specifically for you hard working recruiters.

Social Search allows you to search Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, ZoomInfo, Spoke and Visual CV all at once, using whatever search criteria you desire. In addition, there's a built-in resume search feature - which finds resume documents out there on the web using Google's API. We're actually considering a switch over to Bing for this tool since Google limits us on the number of results it will deliver. Although you can still use Boolean string commands within this search tool, you don't have to. We've automated some of the most successful basic commands to eliminate your need to learn and/or remember them. :) Stay tuned - there are TONS of improvements coming for this innovative search tool. Once we have it fully integrated with our Employer Control panel, it will be a tool unparalleled by any other. /sales pitch

But seriously, this app was developed using the 'Active Passive' recruitment theory which is a practice that I used very successfully for 15 years and THAT'S what this article is about. There's only 1 catch - you can't be afraid to reach out to people on social profiles!! Too many recruiters I know are afraid to do this and I really can't figure out why. If you FIND THEM they WANTED YOU TO KNOW! Happy Hunting!

Views: 331

Comment by Manav Prasad on May 13, 2010 at 10:05pm
Amazing tool.. yes you are right.. Cant believe it.. could it get more simpler than this.. not to my imagination. I just checked it and found it useful.. Let use it for a week or so and then let me post my feedback on the same.

Looks like I got something great. Thanks a lot.
Comment by Slouch on May 13, 2010 at 10:49pm
The point of this post was to sell the product you helped develop. I'll try it out.
Comment by Robin Eads on May 14, 2010 at 9:16am
Wellllll....Social Search is free so technically I'm not selling anything. :)
Comment by Frank Gregg on May 14, 2010 at 11:43am
Anyone not signing up and using the social networks for business and pleasure is not going to stay in touch
with the "world". I've signed up with most and have friends from years ago, and candidates who lost track of
my business connection coming out of the woodwork. Frank Gregg, GREGG & Associates. Gallatin, TN


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