The value of passive candidates
I saw a post from someone recently complaining quite vociferously about being contacted by a head hunter. The message from this individual, was that if he was looking for a job he would **#!** well let them know. I checked out his LinkedIn profile and his contact settings were “open for job inquiries”. So I was a little surprised as you might imagine, at the ferocity of his feelings, his diatribe taking up a whole page. I am very lucky. Most people are happy to hear from me. I am highly visible and it’s easy to check out my credentials. If on the rare occasion they are not, I thank them for their time and invite them to stay in touch. Most are super accommodating and know well that the next call they get from me could be the opportunity of a life time. Those that aren’t – I remember! First impressions really do count.
Why a polite two minute networking conversation is so important
Even if you are not active on the job market it is always useful being open towards approach calls. I can understand multiple calls can become intrusive – but simply changing contact settings on LinkedIn will deter all but the most crassly insensitive.
The latest Market Research from Execunet indicates that search companies contact 65% of candidates via networking and their own data bases, with an additional 14% coming from general research ( passive candidate identification). With more than 80% of openings comprising what has become known as ” the hidden job market” , the motivation for individuals to make themselves highly visible to search professionals or directly in contact with them, should be seriously compelling.
A good recruiter or search consultant will help you stay in touch with the job market and will contact you for any matching opportunities. This is not just about you! This is also the best way he can serve his client. It is why it is always useful to send a strongly keyworded resume to a head hunter, even if there is no interest at that particular moment, because the company will upload it onto their data base for future reference. Or easier still, as this will take only seconds, connect on any internet professional platform, LinkedIn, Viadeo, Xing etc. Just as importantly make sure your profile is always up to date. This allows you to appear in any appropriate searches and facilitates contact when a potential opportunity arises in the future, even if it’s years later.
Some individuals have also expressed concern about being openly connected to search professionals in this way, fearing it may be seen as a sign of instability or disloyalty to their existing employer. Truthfully, as companies have laid off millions in the past 18 months and job creation is slow at picking up, the concept of loyalty is being constantly redefined. My own view that not to work with reputable professionals or specialists is simply short-sighted.
It will be these very same people who at the first sign of a problem begin to panic and complain about recruiters not making time for them. Search consultants work for their clients, not you, so the best time to cultivate them is when they call you. The lesson that has been well learned during the last year is that strategic ongoing wide networking and raising visibility in this day and age should no longer be the preserve of the dynamic go-getter, but imperative for everyone. As we know, there is great strength in a weak network!