How Recruiters Find Passive Job Seekers

As often as not, the best person for a job already has one. Here’s how recruiters go about finding and recruiting these “passive” candidates.

In the recruiting world, it’s commonly understood that some of the best candidates for a job are, ironically, already gainfully employed. Of course, this isn’t to say that most such candidates wouldn’t be interested (not to mention flattered) in a compelling new opportunity suited to their skillset, were it to be presented to them. But they aren’t actively looking for new work – which is why they’re typically described as “passive job seekers.”

A good recruiter will go the extra mile to look for and assess both active and passive seekers for every job, given that some of the people most qualified for a position may not even be on the job market (officially, at any rate).

To separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of the recruiters you use, it’s important to distinguish between two key types of recruitment firms: “post and pray” recruiters and “headhunters.”

Post and pray recruiters
A recruiter of this ilk will typically put up a job ad and hope that the right person applies to it. They may search for candidates on sites like LinkedIn or Workopolis, but they won’t go beyond that to source passive seekers.

A good recruiter, then, will go the extra mile to look for and assess both active and passive seekers for every job, given that some of the people most qualified for a position may not even be on the job market, officially at any rate.

Recruiters of this sort are generally less effective, as they’re not likely to tear into the market and scour every nook and cranny for top-tier talent.

Headhunters
The more efficient of the two, a headhunter often recruits within a specific industry or field – accounting and finance, for example. Like their post and pray counterpart, the headhunter starts with immediately accessible data online, like resumes found on job boards, or individuals with strong LinkedIn presences. Headhunters, however, treat this kind of information as crumbs along the breadtrail that leads to the ideal applicant.

Headhunters spend a lot of time building and maintaining relationships with people in the sector, in order to establish a sense of trust with its key decision-makers. Then, when they’re looking to fill a particular job, they can reach out to people in their network, to see if they know of any candidates who might fit the bill.  In this way, headhunters can both recruit from their existing networks and use their contacts to discover new talent.

But the most visible elements in a job search represent just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of the job market.

Sure, recruiting like this can requite a lot more work than simply posting an ad and waiting for applicants to come to you. But the most visible elements in a job search represent just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of the job market. Finding that special, top-of-the-class talent requires scratching beyond the surface of job boards and LinkedIn profiles, and extending the search to passive lookers.

Who we are
At Clarity Recruitment, we know how to find and recruit the best talent, passive and active alike. We pride ourselves on being thorough, innovative, and data-driven in our searches on behalf of clients, and on taking the time to locate the kinds of clues that will help us access a deeper talent pool. In launching a search, we gather and analyze data to help an employer experience the full picture regarding a prospective applicant, so that we can put together a map that will point us in the direction of the right person for every job. For us, “connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies” – our motto – starts with finding those exceptional people, wherever they might be.

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!