The Active and Passive Candidate Mix

I saw an ad the other day for a recruiting position which stated “We want recruiters to find us passive candidates, no applicants from job boards.”  Granted, I get it. I put an ad out for a local attending physician recently, and I got a medical driver applying for it. However, now is the time to be looking for a mix of candidates. Active candidates are not always unemployed. The recent recession has seen companies getting by with fewer workers who do more. And workers are getting sick of it. They are impatient with being overworked and underpaid and are ready to move on. These candidates are motivated to find a better position and are more likely to go through the paces of recruitment and placement than a passive candidate. Managers in the medical field are getting the message: if you want passive candidates, you need to pony up on the $$$ and benefits – sign on and incentive bonuses are now reaching $150K to give  candidates a reason to move to a new position – that is in addition to salaries of $200K-$300K.

The key to recruiting and hiring active candidates is to ensure that their skills are fresh. A note for active candidates: realistically, you are a much more viable candidate if you can show a continuity of work on your resume, even if it is contracting. As a contractor, you know what it means to hit the ground running and produce results, skills for which budget conscious managers are looking.

Employers have to be realistic too. Gone are the days of admonishing recruiters to find candidates who have a 1000% above and beyond the job requirements. Candidates are now getting multiple job offers, indicating that the job market is starting to swing back in their favor. We will need a mix of active and passive candidates to fill the jobs that will be opening up even as the economy improves.



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