3 Reasons Why Recruiters ‘Heart’ Passive Candidates

It’s a common dilemma, really. You’re gainfully employed, but you also can’t help but think that there are greener pastures with another employer. However, your current job isn’t that bad, so you’re not really an active job seeker — it’d just be nice to know what career options are available. If this is you, then read on to see why you are a recruiter’s dream come true. Here’s why.


(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)

According to LinkedIn’s Talent Blog, “A passive candidate is employed, but not currently looking for a new opportunity.” If you’re are part of this group of employed individuals who are curious enough to consider other career options, but content enough to stay at their current employer (for now), then welcome to the realm of passive candidate — it’s a Members Only jacket kind of deal, here.

Recruiters love passive candidates, as opposed to active job seekers. Why, you ask? Here are three main reasons why recruiters “heart” passive candidates.

1. They’re not desperate. By the definition itself, passive candidates are not looking for a job, but that’s not to say they won’t answer a recruiter’s call if it’s right place, right time. The reason passive candidates are gems is because the desperation that many active job seekers possess is eliminated. Because of this, passive candidates are more patient with their decision and are willing to wait for the right opportunity to come along, thus increasing the likelihood that they will be happy in their new career and stick around for a while.

2. They’re honest. The reality is, part of a recruiter’s job is to convince passive candidates to take a huge risk in their career and move on to greener pastures – that’s not easy when candidates are content at their current positions. Because of this, passive candidates can be much more honest and selective about what it’ll take to, basically, disrupt their lives (for better or worse). It’s much wiser to make career decisions when you’re open and honest about what you truly want for your future, rather than basing your decision on desperation and necessity. Recruiters value when candidates are honest with themselves about what they do and don’t want out of a career, because it prevents professionals from taking dead-end jobs simply for the paycheck.

3. They’re highly marketable. Considering the two points listed above, passive job seekers are extremely marketable and highly desirable as candidates. Additionally, passive candidates aren’t interested in interviewing with any other employers (other than the ones presented by the recruiter), so they aren’t interested in wasting anyone’s time, especially their own. Passive candidates already have jobs, so their mindset and motivational factors are much different than those of an active job seeker. An unemployed job seeker might be motivated by financial/survival reasons: paying the mortgage, putting food on the table, or just landing a job for employment’s sake, a passive candidate’s motivations are typically more clear-cut and career focused.

“Passive candidates are not going to settle,” says Jessica Hawkins, a recruiter at The Creative Group. “Settling can damage your professional reputation immediately and your self-image in the long run; recruiters want to match-make candidates with their dream jobs, not launch them into professional tailspins.”

Hawkins goes on to say, “There’s nothing more disheartening than a unicorn who thinks they’re a burro; passive candidates have the best understanding of their own worth and will expect to be compensated accordingly.”

The question now is, how do employed professionals grab the attention of recruiters so that a career-making opportunity doesn’t pass them up? For starters, read this post to learn the many ways LinkedIn can help you get noticed as a passive job seeker. Then, read some tricks of the trade on attracting more recruiters to your LinkedIn profile, here, or join conversations online to boost your visibility. If you’re gainfully employed but wouldn’t pass up a great opportunity if it came your way, then start marketing your skills online and have your next dream job find you!

Tell Us What You Think

Are you a passive candidate who has some tidbits to add to the list? Share your thoughts with our Twitter community as to why you believe passive candidates are a recruiter’s dream come true.