Why you are more attractive as a passive candidate…

As someone who has historically always left a job and then found a new one, or gone to Thailand for 3 months and then found a new job (which is my favourite way to job hunt), I didn’t really think about impact of being a passive candidate vs an active candidate.

The demand for recruiters is huge, if you can operate a phone there will be a business that will hire you in my experience. You could leave the industry for a few years and get a job within a couple of weeks if you wanted to get back into recruitment. You can get an offer within 24 hours of starting a job search and that’s how fast the market moves.

In a candidate driven market you won’t have 3-4 candidates interviewing for the same role, you have to take what you are given sometimes which means sometimes you have to hire mediocre candidates. Recruiting in a slightly different market I can now easily distinguish between my average and super star candidates. My preferred candidate is passive employed for a number of reasons that do benefit me mainly regarding commitment and time, but for them too it’s always better to be a passive employed and the biggest benefit are financials and perception. I would bet that passive candidates that do move will also stay a lot longer because their decision was based on want not need…

Employers will ALWAYS wonder or ask why you left without another role as it’s not ‘the done thing’ and might wonder if you left or if you were sacked and will be more inclined to reference you and look for a reason not to hire you. Effectively your capability is being questioned if you are no longer employed sometimes unfairly and this will be an unconscious bias that’s happening so the interviewer might not even realise they are doing it! I’ve done it multiple times and I’m as soft as shit and like to give everyone a chance.

You can command more money. Knowing someone is already employed you know you can’t low ball or pay them what they were on, for them to accept you need to offer them a better salary to encourage a move and with the number of counter offers happening, it’s almost guaranteed these days so offers will take into account a potential counter, being active without a job you won’t get this, you are more likely to get your most recent salary and sometimes a pay cut as they have ‘the power’ and know you need it more. You have way more bargaining power being passive and can throw out anything from a £5-30k uplift depending on your level and remit to make a move.

You are just more attractive being passive and just considering your options. You might get written off by a company if you are talking to 10 other companies and actively unemployed. I’ve turned down interviewing candidates if they are seeing too many companies, my time is important and I’m going to hedge my bets. If you are seeing just 4 companies that are all competitors you automatically become more attractive! The best way to get a solid offer and pay rise is to interview at 4 relevant businesses that operate in similar markets because if you are good, odds are you will get offers from 3/4 and they will want to make sure you join, money is the easiest and most effective way to do this.

The psychology of having what you can’t have comes into play particularly in an agency, if you know you need to fight a little bit to get this person to leave, that challenge is appealing. The competitive side will come out massively and the want to win you over! Again if you know someone is available their value goes down slightly, do you want to fight as much? Maybe not.

You might find that none of the businesses are right and decide to stay, and this happens more than you would think. You realise that you’ve actually got it really good and your manager isn’t that bad! Interviewing can get your spark back for your current business and can actually see your performance go up! You are not under pressure to retract notice and you still have a job and your company isn’t questioning your loyalty. A good business won’t hold this against you and as long as you left things well, were honest in your reasons for not leaving you can almost guarantee you have future options when the time is right for you to move.

This is heavily biased towards the recruitment industry and is for permanent roles but I’m sure it applies to other markets and industries. Even if you are on the edge, stick it out and start your job search while employed. You will benefit from it in the long run!

PS if you are passive in internal or L&D drop me a line, it would be great to chat

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