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Rethinking Passive Recruiting – Benefits of a Focused Active Approach

If you’ve ever engaged in passive recruiting, you’ve seen first hand that it’s not an easy task. It’s understandable why recruiters want to give passive recruiting a try. The active job market, especially in tech, is highly competitive and there’s a growing shortfall of qualified candidates to go around. And since automated tools allow recruiters to reach out to almost anyone, top candidates are subject to a great deal of noise. Passive seems like an intriguing, less traveled path, but it has its pitfalls.

Let’s start with a few quick reasons passive recruitment can miss the mark:

1. Selective Outreach Is Still Cold
Unless you work for a highly recognizable brand, potential candidates generally see your outreach as a cold contact. They really have no way to distinguish your communication from spam, and top passive candidates receive a lot of them. This starts you off on the wrong foot.

2. It’s a Lengthy Process
In an era where recruiters are pushing to scale their sourcing and hiring activities, passive recruiting is anything but scalable. It takes considerable resources on the sourcing side, generally calls for a one-to-one outreach, and since the passive candidate isn’t even aware they’re on your radar, it is likely to take a while for them to respond. Even if they do, you’re adding several steps in an already lengthy process.

3. Results Are Unpredictable
It’s very tough to compose the right formula for actually connecting with a passive candidate. Every candidate is different, and when they’re not actively in the job hunt, they’re quite focused on their current career and usually tuned out to recruiters. Even if you make contact, you’re taking a shot in the dark if they will even be remotely interested and available.

4. It Can Be Awkward, Especially for Competitor Employees
One of the more aggressive tactics in passive recruiting is the targeting of competitor employees who are viewed as the cream of the crop. Reaching out cold is awkward enough, but when you’re trying to connect with a competitor’s superstar, there can be a sense that you’re ‘poaching’ good talent. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with that; it’s the competitive nature of the recruiting world, but it does create a layer of potential uneasiness.

The Active Path to Recruiting Success
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but working from the right active recruiting model from the beginning produces better results and creates a more comfortable experience for both candidates and employers. Targeting active job seekers gives you a comparatively winning hand from the moment you get started, but there’s more to the story:

Fish Where the Fish Are
Tech is fundamentally vital across industries, so it’s helpful to know that those in the pool you’re searching in are all tech-minded with an eye on getting that next great tech-focused opportunity. You can be sure their backgrounds are fully vetted to reduce uncertainty and shorten the cycle time for evaluating their experience.

Get the Right Signals with Forward-looking Profiles
If you’re just looking at past experience and not delving into future intent and objectives, you’re not doing that much more than on the passive side. On Hired, for example, every candidate can tell you their own story: where they’ve been, how it’s influenced their career path, what they’re looking for, and the type of environment they want to land in. The more you know about the individual, the quicker your path.

Active Means a More Meaningful Experience
Passive recruiting can create a little uneasiness and more pitch-oriented, one-sided scenario. The right active approach opens up a more balanced candidate experience, where personalized touches and a mutual objective of finding the right fit creates a stronger relationship and has a better chance of success.

You Can Still Learn from Passive Tactics to Help Your Pipeline
In the end, not all is lost with the passive recruiting approach. It offers some lessons that can improve your ability to build and manage a great pipeline. It teaches the importance of regular and personalized outreach, how to tap the right talent at the right time and how to make long-term candidate relationships a cornerstone of your recruiting strategy.