Active Vs. Passive Debate Continues: What This Means For Jobseekers

Via Fistful of Talent, the recruiting divide between active (looking for a job) and passive (if you call me, I might work for you, maybe) candidates is continuing to be an issue for those on the street sending out resumes right now.

The mentality, even after so many qualified people have been laid off through no fault of their own, is that people still employed are still higher-quality.

None of that is news, but Dawn Hrdlica at Fistful of Talent says that one thing’s now clear: “The companies you want to work for, (forward thinking, cutting edge, employee friendly) are proving to the C-Suite that the time it takes to cull the passive candidate is a better return on the investment than the quickly attained active candidate…The biggest advantage active candidates have is immediate accessibility. Typically the active candidate is one who is either unemployed or is so disengaged from their current job they are ready and willing to follow a recruiting process on the company’s terms. They can interview on demand, they can start tomorrow, the recruiter says jump and…you know the rest. If quick accessibility is not a primary driver for the companies you want to work for anymore, you have lost your ace-in-the-hole.”

But here’s the good news. Hrdlica’s riffing off a Workforce article profiling a company with a highly-selective recruiting process (only 1/10 of applicants that get to the interview stage actually get a job offer). This company gets mostly passive candidates, yes, but it also has a 36 percent hire rate from referrals.

Hrdlica says: “Passive recruiting…is really a hybrid version of referral recruiting. Why? Both types are based around a relationship being formed before the hiring process.”

So if you need a job, those relationships are more important than ever.