When I first dipped a toe into the world of recruitment the term ‘Passive’ when referring to candidates didn’t really exist. Back then they were known as ‘innactive’ candidates and only really of interest to Search firms like the one I was with at the time. Paid to dig around and not rely on advertising, we had no real choice but to target people who were probably quite happy in their current job. It was all justified, of course, on the basis that the best people never looked for a job and those that were currently active and applying for jobs through press ads were, in some way, ‘slightly more shoddy goods’. Hmmm. Don’t you just love those Search guys?!
Anyway, over the last few years the notion of the ‘passive’ candidate really gained momentum with social networking tools opening up a number of new channels through which to target those hard to find, ‘waiting for the call’ kind of people. And having made many ‘ident’ calls as we used to call them I know how welcome those other channels are.
But as these tools have matured and gained credibility, particularly in the professional arena, are we not witnessing the demise of the truly ‘passive’ candidate? Whether or not you are looking for another role, the fact is that if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile for example, you are in danger of rapidly becoming a social outcast. Like it or not your profile puts you centre stage in what is fast becoming the recruitment equivalent of a Broadway smash.
Similarly, those active folk now don’t have to appear so active do they? Create a profile, bang in some mutually beneficial recommendations, answer a couple of well placed questions and Bob’s your uncle – ‘passive’ status achieved!
Letting it be known that you were on the market used to be frowned on; at best it was a little ‘grubby’ and at worst you could get fired for such disloyalty. Not any more. Listing ‘Career Opportunities’ and ‘Job Enquiries’ in the ‘Interested In:’ section of your LinkedIn profile would now appear to be totally acceptable.
But that’s probably because its also the same in your boss’s profile too…!