It’s true; most employers prefer passive candidates. A passive candidate is a gainfully employed professional who is open to hearing about career opportunities and would actually accept a new job if it made sense to them and their family.
Employers believe that a person is employed because they are the top of crop. When I say employers I refer to specific managers who maintain this mindset. I don’t personally know of any managers who think this way, but I have come across hundreds who feel this way.
Infinity Consulting Solutions conducted a study in 2009 where 400+ job seekers in the New York City area were asked whether employers preferred employed candidates over unemployed candidates, 59% believed that employers indeed preferred employed candidates.
To most of us this is no secret. So today I am going to show you how to conduct a passive job search. Once you are done reading this article, you will have learned the art of changing jobs when you want to, not when you have to!
Phase I – Things you can start doing now:
1. Take your resume off all of the job boards. You don’t want to be seen as someone who is always looking. Sure job boards are a good way to attract every recruiter on the planet, but is that what you want? My advice is to focus on quality not quantity.
2. Make a list of the following information:
3. Look within your own organization for opportunities that fit your criteria. This is a very important step. It also should always be your first, second and third option. Always give your current employer more than a fair shot to meet your needs and to ensure that you are compensated at market value.
Don’t wait to engage your employer after you have accepted another offer. That is bad business and its called a counter-offer. For more information on why that is career suicide, read here: http://akajohnsanders.com/?p=752
4. Keep your ears open for any opportunity that you hear about. You will be surprised what you hear after you really start paying attention. Also, conduct targeted searches on sites like Indeed & Simply Hired and look for opportunities that fit your criteria. Remember the objective here is to build on your current career.
5. Go to the career sites of companies that you are interested in working for and submit your resume to openings that they have. If there are no openings, don’t apply. Let a recruiter do that for you. I will have to explain ”why” in another article, but for now just take my word for it.
Phase II – Find a specialized recruiter to help:
1. Ask your trust worthy peers if they know of any recruiters that they can recommend. Or look online for a specialist recruiter in your field. Notice I said specialist recruiter. Believe it or not, most good recruiters only recruit for one or two areas of specialization. A do it all recruiter will probably be spread too thin to help you in the long run. Just like you would not let your plumber pull your teeth, don’t let any recruiter find your next job. Only work with a specialized recruiter from your industry.
2. Once you have identified your recruiter, interview that recruiter. If they are good, they will gladly share their information & accomplishments with you. If they are out to make a quick buck, they will be a lot less patient with you. Learn how they protect your privacy, what companies do they currently work with. How do they plan on helping you? These are all valid questions to ask.
3. After you have selected your recruiter(s), share your list of requirements with them. And tell them that this is your criteria for entertaining any opportunity. Let them give you feedback on whether you are being realistic or not. If all is well then sit back and let your recruiter go to work for you.
4. If there are target companies on your list that do not have any external openings, then ask your recruiter to try and work the inside track. A lot of the top jobs never make it to the public job sphere. If your recruiter is really good, they will be well networked within your industry and will be able to get your name in front of the right people.
5. Most importantly be as open and honest with your recruiter. The more accurately you explain your requirements the easier it will be for them to help you.
Now that you understand the 2 Phases of setting up your passive search. Here is a bonus. Use LinkedIn until something better comes out. Update your professional profile and link to other professionals within your industry. The more visible you are on LinkedIn, the better it is for your passive job search.
If you continuously invest a few hours a week into these activities while remaining fully engaged at work, you will eventually build an opportunity pipeline that will benefit you in the long run. And at some point through these efforts a great opportunity will present itself.
After all, good things happen to those who are in the right place at the right time!
If you have any additional questions on how to conduct a passive job search, you can contact me directly at: