Active vs Passive Candidate Markets
As an extension of an organization’s HR department, have you ever wondered how recruitment agencies can source top talent for roles that have been vacant for months, posted on every job board imaginable, and have low application rates?
Throughout this article, I will be attempting to answer this question by analyzing the different candidate markets available to hiring organizations, and demonstrating how a recruitment agency can change the hiring dynamic by tapping into unexplored candidate markets.
Actively Job Searching Candidates
To begin, I first want to start with the active candidate market. This market can be identified by candidates who are actively browsing job postings, doing research on new company opportunities, attending interviews on a periodic basis, and are looking for the next move in their career. From an organizational perspective, these candidates have the potential to make up the largest portion of their candidate pool (from both applications and referrals). To engage with these candidates, many organizations find success with postings that highlight both their organizational culture, as well as how their role connects with that culture and the responsibilities that follow. Additionally, other strong tactics include referral incentive programs that allow employees who already understand the company culture to actively begin promoting and sourcing potential candidates within their networks.
This same candidate market that can make up the largest portion of organizational hires however, only account for a small portion of the candidates that a recruitment agency targets. It can be observed that this phenomenon in the hiring process is not done purposefully, as most often the active candidate has either already engaged with the hiring organization, or has seen the job posting and dismissed it as an imperfect fit. Overall, with these two occurrences happening synchronously between the organization and the recruitment agency, it is more likely that a recruitment agency will find top talent while exploring other markets.
Passively Job Searching Candidates
The passive candidate market can be identified by individuals who are content with their current job placement, are scarcely looking at job postings, and are not actively attending interviews. From a recruitment standpoint, what makes this market unique is that although these candidates are not necessarily looking for a new career, what they are typically open to is reviewing the current job market to gain information on the fair market value of their role or to learn about new passions that may inspire them.
Under normal circumstances, these candidates are outside of the hiring organization’s network as they most likely did not have prior knowledge of the open position, or have not been engaged with the organization’s hiring team. It is for these reasons that many recruitment agencies find a large portion of their candidates in this market. Most often, when these conversations between a recruiter and a passive candidate occur, it is not only about ensuring that the role fulfills the candidate’s needs and that the candidate has the qualifications for the role, but alternatively, it is the responsibility of the recruiter on the organization’s behalf to market the role accordingly and discuss why it is a great opportunity. Overall, it is within these conversations where top talent is secured by recruiters who can identify a candidate’s needs and showcase how this new opportunity can fulfill those needs.
Candidates Not Looking to Switch Careers
One additional category of candidates not yet described are those who are not looking to make a change in their career and are not passively browsing the market. These candidates can be identified as those who genuinely feel happy, secure, and fulfilled in their current roles, and are most often not looking for new opportunities. Similar to the passive candidate markets, these candidates are typically outside of the hiring organization’s network as they spend very little, if any, time reviewing job postings. However, in contrast with the passive candidate, recruiters also have very little access to this market as these candidates will rarely want to engage in new opportunity discussions.
With that said, although this market is not ideal for the hiring organization, it is still invaluable to the recruitment agency to reach out to these potential candidates as it allows them to gain a deeper understanding of the market segment and what organizations are doing well to keep their employees happy, engaged, and fulfilled.
In summary, a recruitment agency’s success does not solely rely on the candidate markets that they target, but alternatively, they find the greatest success in their role as an intermediary between the candidate and the hiring organization. Most often, recruitment agencies have multiple responsibilities that are only seen internally such as understanding candidate’s needs and building relationships, researching the market thoroughly to gain an understanding of fair market values, as well as marketing the opportunity in a way that appeals to those candidates who demonstrate an interest in the role.
Overall, working alongside a recruitment agency can drastically change the hiring dynamic for your organization in three distinct ways. Firstly, they can tap into the passive and inactive candidate markets where a large portion of talent can be found. Secondly, they can provide in-depth knowledge of market segments that support the overall recruitment process, and finally, they can create strong relationships with candidates from all segments and conduct continual needs analysis which helps them find the right fit for your organization.
Want to learn more about how Logic Executive Search can improve your recruitment process? Contact us a www.logicexecutivesearch.com or (226) 683-0033.
Written By: Angelo DiDonato
Note: This article is written as an opinion piece from the perspective of a Recruitment Specialist