The active versus passive candidate has long been a topic of hot debate at the senior management and executive level of recruitment.

In today’s highly competitive market, business leaders must find ways to proactively connect and engage with passive candidates if they want to win the war on unearthing the greatest talent.

Professional recruiters understand that the best candidate for the job may not be in the group actively applying for the role – it’s the passive candidate – a senior manager, chief executive or director that is already leading boardroom discussions, driving growth, productivity and staff engagement.

A recent report canvassing the views of more than 760 professionals and hiring managers across New Zealand revealed nine out of 10 hiring managers feel like they need to look beyond active job seekers to find the right candidate.

Candidates fall into one of four employment categories: the active candidates who are looking for a new job, the tiptoe candidates who are thinking about moving positions, the passive candidates who are employed but open to new opportunities, and the super passive candidates who are employed and would not consider a new opportunity.

Business leaders must adopt proactive sourcing tactics across various platforms (i.e. social media, traditional advertising, networking and word-of-mouth referrals) to find the cream of the crop in this highly desirable group of passive professionals.

Attracting the passive candidate

Passive candidates make up 75 percent of the global workforce. These are professionals who are already employed but will consider the right opportunity if and when it presents itself.

In New Zealand three out of four (77 percent) professionals are open to being approached by a recruiter or potential employer about a job or career development opportunity. This number remains high for senior executives, with 67 percent keeping open-minded about future employment.

One of the key benefits of sourcing a passive candidate is that, since they are not actively looking for work, you can assume they won’t be interviewing with your competitor. However if you don’t present an enticing employee value proposition (EVP) or career offer, you will risk losing their interest altogether.

Understanding the super passive candidate

In the search for the perfect passive candidate, businesses will come across candidates who are perfectly content in their current job and have no interest in uprooting themselves – no matter how good your offer is.

This is where the expertise of professional recruiters in connecting, networking and relationship building can prove invaluable. Never dismiss a super passive candidate as a lost opportunity because the more communication you have with a ‘new lead’, the more likely they will return their interest when they’re ready to progress to the next level of their career.

Final thoughts

Recruiting high calibre staff can be a costly and time consuming exercise if not done correctly.

At Decipher Group we blend a forward-thinking approach with latest technology, professional networks and diverse skillsets to connect businesses with talented people on a case-by-case basis. We take pride in being industry leaders by staying abreast of new trends and innovations to enhance the services we offer, with social media platforms such as LinkedIn Recruiter and SEEK’s new talent management platform allowing us to connect with high calibre candidates around the globe.

In our search for talented management, executives and governance professionals we look beyond those actively hunting for new roles by targeting passive job seekers who possess the appropriate skills and experience.

As successful businesspeople, we understand the commercial environment our clients operate in and know what it takes to succeed in a competitive market place. Our team of professional recruiters are highly adept at recognising the transferrable skills and leadership attributes which makes candidates invaluable.

Need help?

Decipher Group are industry experts in the recruitment of executive, c-suite level professionals, and governance leaders for New Zealand and Australian businesses. We’ve been connecting talented people to exciting opportunities for 15 years. Let’s talk.

The Decipher Team

To stay on top of current recruitment trends and technologies follow Decipher Group on LinkedIn.

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