Passive vs. Active Candidates

As a recruiter, I’m always going to look at both passive and active candidates. However, it’s clear as day that more often than not, the passive candidate turns out to be the better bet. It just so happens that passive candidates are often more committed and engaged in their work and that’s ultimately the kind of person you want to work in your organization. There are pros and cons to each though, so let’s take a look at them.

Active Candidates: You know they’re interested in your company and that they’re going to bend over backwards to make sure you’re impressed. Hopefully, this translates into hard work after the start date and the hire wanting to prove just that. They’re not going to be as picky about salary and benefit packages being offered. All this, however, begs the question: what’s the catch? If they really seem that good, is there something missing? Are they unemployed? Unmarketable? Lack commitment to their current work? All these questions require sufficient vetting during the interview process to ensure you’re working with a quality candidate.

Passive Candidates: These are the people that you’re going to have to sell a little harder. They’re pretty happy where they are so it sometimes becomes more of “why should I work for you” rather than “why you should hire me” during the interview process. They’re going to make sure that if they take this position everything suits their wants and needs perfectly. This will include title, team, responsibilities, compensation, benefits, the list goes on. However, if they do start, you know they won’t jump ship within a year. The second they sign on, there’s a likely chance that they’re in it for the long haul and they’re going to do everything in their power to give 110%.

We’re all going to work with both inbound and head-hunted candidates, so it’s critical to keep these thoughts in mind when working with each. Customize your discussion accordingly and make sure you’re being as objective as possible and this should get you the hire that you need.

Good luck!

Victor Mahillon
Victor Mahillon
Director of Recruiting

Victor Mahillon is the Director of Recruiting at Kamcord. Previously he was a Talent manager at OpenView.
You might also like ...
4 Tips for Setting Your Company's Annual Rhythm

Every company starts the new year with big goals and aspirations. But how many of those companies actually accomplish them?

by Kristin Hillery
Product Marketing
How to Get Your First 100 Customers—Smart, Actionable Advice from Top Executives

Leaders from Twilio, IBM, SurveyMonkey and more share their best tips.

by Casey Renner
Startup Strategy
We Explored 3 Product Positioning and Branding Failures. Here’s What NOT to Do.

B2B brand and product positioning will only continue to become more important with the rise of the End User Era.

by Margaret Kelsey