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Stop Killing My Passive Candidate!

Posted By Jeff Battinus On October 31, 2012 @ 5:56 am In Opinion | 14 Comments

[1]My philosophy is that the best candidate is the one who is not, and does not need to look for a position. I am finding that in the past 12 months, there are fewer and fewer candidates who are not in the market for a position. People are more willing to speak with a recruiter, there are fewer objections I need to overcome, and it has been easier to reach people. I am sure I am not alone, and that these previously “passive candidates [2]” are also speaking to the other recruiters reaching out to them. The data supports this; the recent Careerbuilder 2012 Candidate Behavior Guide showed that 74% of currently employed individuals are looking for a position in one form or another.

There are a few reasons for this:

  1. It is easier to look for a position due to technological advances, social media, etc.
  2. Loyalty to a company is harder to find, especially within larger companies who are consistently bought, sold, merged, or restructured.
  3. Certain managers may be resistant to flexible or remote working conditions, although technology and position requirements can accommodate these requests easily.

People will continue to become more visible in their personal and professional lives. This is inevitable, as social media continues to become more prevalent. Job searches will become easier and more mobile in nature.

There is nothing we can do about this, and I actually think this is a good thing. Managers simply need to have a more open mind about remote working conditions, and flex time. Allow your top performers to work remotely, and inform your low performers why they are unable to do so and what they need to do to earn this ability for a flexible schedule or remote working condition.

The loyalty issue is the hardest aspect to fix; you cannot control mergers and acquisitions. The best thing you can do is to show your employees you truly care, listen to them, open your ears and close your mouth, and ensure you are taking the time to address their needs and wants. Little things do matter. A small gesture to let an employee know you are listening and that you truly care ensures that you are focusing on enhancing productivity, not back-filling a position.


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[1] Image: http://www.ere.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/bigstock-Caveman-Killing-a-Laptop-740708.jpg

[2] passive candidates: http://www.ere.net/tags/passivecandidates

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