Recruiting Passive Job Seeker as the New Challenge

Passive Job Seekers:
Passive Job Seekers are those who are satisfied with their current designation in their present organization. They are high flying executives formulating successful strategies for the companies. Most importantly, they are highly engaged motivated and not seeking a change. They don’t even update their resume. These employees are self motivated and are too satisfied or too successful to even consider shift. These are the decent percentage of the best talent in the industry. These people have the characteristics of the Theory Y people (Douglas Mcgregor: Theory X and Theory Y) .

Passive job seekers are people between mid to senior levels, with a higher level of expertise in their field. Many companies look out for these well-experienced people for managerial and other leadership positions. The track record of passive job seekers in their respective functions is extremely good and by virtue of their stable tenures with companies, they usually have experienced full-blown project or product life cycles. This loyal workforce works for the intrinsic satisfaction they derive from doing interesting work for a helpful employer. Industries that have high growth opportunities and high employee turnover are on a constant hunt for such experienced people.

Active Job Seekers:
Active Job seekers are those who are not satisfied with their current designation in their present organization or those who are in desperate search for the job in the market. Mostly they are an average or low performance staff. They demand lot of things and are mostly unhappy and de-motivated. These are the Theory X type of people (Douglas Mcgregor: Theory X and Theory Y) .

Now the question is:
Wouldn’t you rather consider spending more time and money hiring passive job seeker over an active job seeker?

The answer is mostly “yes”.
But recruiting passive candidates is a Herculean task. Though they are not actively looking out for a shift, they are averse to a change if opportunities do arise, provided the opportunity matches up to their standards. Is the position that you are offering as an employer desirable enough? Are you a strong enough employer brand to call and convince the candidate to shift? And are you ‘active’ enough to lure a ‘passive’ candidate? If the job seeker is passively looking for a job, the recruiter has to put in a lot of effort in order to garb his/her interest, persuade him/her for you and then, keep the candidate constantly engaged.

Reaching out Passive job seekers:
Reaching out to passive job seekers and convincing them to take up a job is not an easy task. As they are already in comfortable positions in their respective organizations, they are less likely to apply for jobs. So, they must be persuaded to move from their current employer to another. Gaining the confidence of passive job seekers is important.

Many organizations consider proactive networking as the best strategy to reach out to passive job seekers. Business seminars, networking forums, employee referrals etc. are preferred means of recruitment to rope in passive job seekers. But today many organizations rely on e-networking sites for recruitment. An employer can also ask his high performing employees to refer other high performing employees working elsewhere. The headhunter often has to play the role of a career guide or consultant to convince a passive job seeker.

Discussing and Convincing Passive Job Seekers:
The discussion with a passive job seeker regarding an opportunity must be one in a manner, which arouses interest. The initial talk has to be powerful with compelling statements about why the opening is a dream job and why the prospective organization is a dream employer as they have to believe they will get to do interesting work and interact with talented peers. The passive job seeker needs to be convinced that their work will be valued and also there are plenty of opportunities to grow.

Some of the things that passive job seeker will look for:
The employer brand, a challenging work profile, better perks and employee satisfaction are attractive baits for passive job seekers. They also seek better learning possibilities over financial benefits, especially in IT and other skill-oriented industries.

Market Trend:
The trend of recruiting passive candidates is slowly catching up. While hiring passive candidates may seem as an exciting proposition, it poses a major challenge. But if recruiters are willing to spend considerable amounts of time and money to lure passive candidates, the hunt is definitely worth it.

Thanks for reading.
Sakin Shrestha

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