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“Passive” vs “Active” Candidate Labeling

Given the right opportunity – anyone would make a change. I firmly believe this. It’s been a core belief I’ve held since I picked up the telephone for the first time in 1987.

To me – it makes no difference if someone is called a “passive” candidate or “active” candidate. What does that really mean, anyway? How long would a “passive” person be considered as such if they decide they want to move forward? Is an “active” candidate supposed to be treated any differently during the process? Do we assume they’ll take ANY job just because they are “actively” seeking a change? No! It all gets down to the very same thing: Opportunity.

What is the DIFFERENCE any way???? Or more to the point – who cares? Why is there this sense that one needs to fall into one category or the other? Anyone who makes any assumptions about a candidate based on where or how their name was sourced (phone, internet, Linkedin, grocery store run-in, a business mixer or any other way) is starting off at a disadvantage. Any preconception is a disadvantage in my opinion.

My thinking is that to make ANY assumption as to where one is at any given moment is a mistake. Presuming to know a person’s current interest level is bound to change how you begin your relationship. So why do it?

Each candidate contact needs to be treated the same. Now – I’m not going to get into specific recruiting scripts, etc. A recruit call can go many different directions. The key is to BEGIN the call the same way – with NO assumptions.

There is absolutely NO REASON to label candidates as active or passive. Every person can go from one to the other in a moment’s notice. The goal is to identify WHAT that person would make a change for. Period.

It’s about the opportunity – not the label.

Good luck!

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