When it comes down to it, all you really want is a new employee who can do the job, at the right price, and fit well into your organization. Still, we continue to read articles about passive and active job seekers, with most literature telling us that passive candidates are the way to go and to avoid active candidates as much as possible.
All of these articles are valid, but only to an extent. Yes, active candidates are sometimes unqualified, desperate job seekers who apply to everything, but passive job seekers usually come at a high recruiting price and don't always prove to be worth it. Our opinion is that both have strong benefits and you shouldn't rule either of them out.
Here's why both Active and Passive Job Seekers would be great for your company:
Why You Should Love Active Job Seekers
The stigma is that if somebody's searching for a job, it's because they are out of a job and unemployable, or they have a job and are an unreliable "job hopper". Sure that's the case in some cases, but definitely not the majority of them. Active job seekers may be great talent who are out of the workforce for many legitimate reasons -- they were let go due to budget cuts, they re-located due to a spouse's career, or they're returning from parental leave.
Those who are working may be your next loyal employee and their current position may be in a toxic work environment or an environment where they may not be meeting their career goals. Regardless of an active job seeker's situation, you most likely have a highly skilled person knocking on your door, interested in working for you. They're going to take your calls and can start quickly (possibly immediately). In the end, your recruiting costs are minimal. Why would you eliminate one of these people?
Why You Should Love Passive Job Seekers
Passive job seekers are usually found through a source you trust, like a reference, a staffing company or even LinkedIn. That means you already have credible knowledge of the person and, although there are a lot of search efforts up-front, much of the screening process is finished. You can also rest assured that because they're still employed, these folks are desirable workers, have up-to-date skills, and have no reason to lie about their qualifications. Better yet, they're in no rush for a decision, so you get the benefit of time in making decisions.
With so few risks in hiring a passive candidate, isn't it worth the extra investment? Do you agree? Do you have a preference or are you strategically going after one type of candidate? Why?