It is a well-known fact that being able to recruit talented and experienced professionals for your organization is an absolute necessity if you wish to see your business grow and prosper.
In today’s job market with historically low unemployment rates, attracting and landing top talent for your critical fill roles is more challenging than ever.
In fact, a recent report shows that 48.8% of hiring managers report having trouble sourcing talent for their open positions.
As professional recruiters, we know that anything that we can do to expand the pool of viable candidates that you are considering, the better the chances of being able to land the perfect person for your needs.
The best way to expand a potential candidate pool is to consider both Passive as well as Active Candidates. In this blog post, ISC’s team of experienced Executive Recruiters will offer some insights into the important ways that you need to handle passive candidates that are different from active candidates.
For starters, let’s define the two different types of job applicants.
The Difference between Active and Passive Candidates
Here’s how these two types of candidates are defined and understood;
These job seekers are actively searching for new employment opportunities by reaching out to organizations themselves. These candidates send in their resumes to hiring managers, answer job ads and navigate their professional networks for an open position, and they are also typically available on an immediate basis. The majority of active candidates are either currently unemployed, or at the very least unhappy in their current role. It is rare to see a high performing, successful candidate spending his days perusing job boards as opposed to …working.
Passive candidates are the exact opposite of active ones. They’re professionals who aren’t actively looking for job opportunities and are currently employed. They don’t spend their days looking at ads, and they rarely, if ever, approach competitors directly. There is typically a longer transition period required for passive candidates to leave their current role and report to work in their new position as opposed to active candidates.
What are the Important Differences in Interviewing Passive as Opposed to Active Candidates?
Because of the inherent difference between actively searching candidates that are eagerly looking for their next role, and passive candidates that were happily working away and are only in front of the hiring manager because a recruiter reached out to them regarding a potential vertical move, there are critical differences in how to handle a passive candidates.
When both the candidate and the hiring manager go into a meeting expecting to be ‘sold’, the outcome is typically bleak.
It is therefore essential for the interviewer to understand that for the passive candidate, he needs to initially be in the role of actively listening to the candidate and selling the opportunity. Reeling in a passive candidate requires a soft touch, and skilled interviewers have learned that there are 6 key components to courting a high performing passive candidate.
The 6 key differences in courting a passive candidate starts at the application stage and extends all the way to the offer;
International Search Consultants has been a leader in executive search since 1999. Our team of highly experienced Recruiters excels at identifying both active as well as passive candidates and delivering those candidates to our clients interview table.
Please feel free to contact ISC today for any critical fill hiring needs. You will be paired with a senior Recruiter that specializes in your particular hiring needs, and together you will create a recruiting strategy.
Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of ISC and can be reached via e-mail at or direct dial at 888-866-7276.
Anna Souers is Director of ISCs team of Financial Services Recruiters, and she also leads ISCs team of Executive Assistant headhunters. Anna can be reached via e-mail at or direct dial at 800-450-3808.