Passive candidates

What is the definition of passive candidates?

The use of the term passive candidates is becoming increasingly common in recruitment. They arguably represent the fastest growing demographic in the sector but who and what are they?

Are you amongst the passive candidates?

The definition of a passive candidate is someone who is currently employed elsewhere but with skills and experience that make them attractive to other prospective employers.
Many sectors are finding suitably qualified candidates hard to come by and so have looked to ways in which they can entice people away from their current position and into a new job. This has led to job packages becoming increasingly varied and attractive with specific incentives attached to tempt talent away. Incentives may include –

  • Compensation – This might not be as straightforward as it seems. Compensation might not simply be aligned to salary but could also include bonus incentives or maybe even stock options and profit sharing. Employers should think carefully about exactly what goes into a compensation package as passive candidates often hold the upper hand during negotiations. Employed candidates will almost always move for improved terms and may also be swayed by extras such as paid time off, retirement contribution and healthcare cover.
  • Work-life balance – Finding that elusive work/life balance is akin to the quest for the Holy Grail and for many workers the opportunity for flexible and more family-centric working is incredibly attractive. Technology has certainly made it easier to work remotely; indeed for many people it’s possible to do their job from almost anywhere in the world. Employees like to feel well supported by their employers and in turn will show great willingness to work hard and stay loyal when made to feel appreciated.
  • Career advancements – Passive candidates like to be able to chart what their career development is likely to be whilst factoring in opportunities for free-range advancements. It’s important to keep their interest levels high and keep restlessness off the radar. An open ended future might just be the carrot that seals the deal for someone who initially is having difficulty deciding whether it’s right to make the move or stay put.
  • High level contribution – Offering passive candidates an active part within the team driving the business forward is another attractive proposition. We all like to be sure that our knowledge and expertise will be utilised and valued in any situation.
  • Setting a new challenge – It’s easy to begin to feel stale in an existing position. The offer of new and ongoing challenges to keep a person energised and focus might be just what they need in order to make their next career move. It’s good for employers to see workers excited by a challenge too; enthusiasm and positivity can often be infectious.

So, are you a passive candidate? You may be but just don’t know it! If you work hard and are continually honing your skills people are bound to notice, who knows what opportunities may present themselves in the future?