Passive Candidates: Working With A Recruiter While You’re Still Employed

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Casually looking for employment is now “the norm.” Whether it’s to build a network or seize an opportunity the moment it presents itself, almost everyone is doing it. In fact, 75% of professionals self-identify as passive candidates. While it might seem unnecessary to utilize and speak with recruiters when you’re gainfully employed, passive candidates are a step ahead of everyone else.


What Exactly Is A Passive Candidate?

A passive candidate is somebody who isn’t actively looking for a job. They’re satisfied with their current position, contributing their expertise day in and day out; however, if given an opportunity that’s better than the one they have, they’ll make that desired career move.

These types of candidates aren’t applying for every position they see and like because they’re more strategic than that. They take a more calculated approach because they’re waiting for a better opportunity to come along.

Passive candidates are known for being more delicate than active candidates in the sense that they’re humble and honest about their qualifications. They already know they have the ideal skill sets for certain jobs, which is why they’re already in the workforce.


How To Find Opportunities

So, how do you passively look for new opportunities?

Social media is a huge resource that anyone can use. We recommend searching for your favorite companies and brands, as many recruiters will post new jobs to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Word of mouth is another great way to find opportunities; perhaps you have a relative who knows a recruiter who can hook you up with an opportunity. And don’t forget about recruiting agencies! Recruiting agencies are dedicated to your success and do everything in their power to help you find the perfect opportunity.



The Biggest Benefit Of Being A Passive Candidate

As a passive candidate, you learn about new opportunities as soon as they appear.  Working with a recruiter is helpful because you can work together to tailor your resume to specific positions. In short, you’ll always be prepared. Meanwhile, other candidates are haphazardly plugging in the same old information and sending it along. While you might not be interested in actually taking another job, it never hurts to discuss what’s out there with a recruiter.


Plus, if a recruiter does find a position that’s right up your alley, you’ll be one of the first people (if not THE first person) they contact. Think of a recruiter as your own personal chef: they’ll cater to your requirements and work to find what best satisfies you.


Although you might know where to look to find a job on your own, it’s unlikely that you’ll secure one the very moment you want or need it—unless, of course, you’re a passive job seeker. When you don’t know where to look (or what to look for) recruiters can help. They know exactly where and how to look according to the information you give them. So, when you meet with one, be sure you express your strengths and weaknesses, expand on your ideal working environment, and discuss what you want your future to look like.



Are You Already A Passive Candidate?

Sometimes this just happens. If you’re scouring the job boards, writing to recruiters, and reconnecting with old co-workers for coffee, you’re probably a passive candidate.

This isn’t a bad thing, though! Stay curious and see what’s out there. If your alma mater has an alumni network, check in and see if any old classmates have any available opportunities at their companies. If a position is available that requires traveling abroad, and you’ve never stepped foot outside of the country, reach for the stars. Professionals should never stop looking for opportunities.



Why You Should Become A Passive Candidate

They say the best candidates are already employed. When you’re a passive job seeker, recruiters will look to develop a relationship with you because you might fit an available position. Both recruiters and job seekers don’t just think about the position at hand—they think about careers as a whole. Perhaps a recruiter will find something that will work better for you at a later time. This is why you should passively seek new opportunities and make connections now.

Interestingly enough, in any given month, about 58% of people look at job openings, despite the fact that they’re employed.  If you’re not looking biweekly or even monthly, you might miss a great opportunity, so stay competitive to claim the position everybody wants. Plus, leaving your current position without another one lined up can be very risky!



What To Do If A Recruiter Reaches Out

If a recruiter tries to get in touch with you, it is in your best interest to keep them updated on what you’re currently doing. We recommend meeting with recruiters in person because this creates a more organic relationship, instead of one that’s simply based on a “just another recruiter” phone call. When the two of you meet, tell them about what’s important to you. Then, they’ll be able to match you up with a position that aligns with your interests and goals.

When they reach out to you, it’s important to make sure they’re qualified to help you. By checking their credentials, you can choose a legitimate recruiter and avoid the pile of spam emails down the road.

If you don’t receive the type of opportunity you hoped for, or if you don’t hear back from a recruiter, don’t worry about it.  Either way, it never hurts to have this type of professional contact in your back pocket.  You never know when something might come your way!


At Burnett’s Staffing, we can help you stay open to new opportunities. No matter where you are in your career, we help both active and passive candidates find the right positions.


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