Advantages of Being a Passive Job Seeker

By Joe Stein

I realize that many of the readers of WNYJOBS.com are “passive” job seekers. By that I mean you may pick up our paper after a shopping trip, or check our postings online, but (for the most part) you are happy in your current employment. A “passive” Job Seeker may occasionally apply for a position, but only after someone has reached out to you, perhaps because you have posted your resume anonymously.
 
So what should you do if you are a “passive” Job Seeker and a Recuiter calls you about a position? What should you consider in order to make a decision regarding whether to apply? Let’s explore some of the unique aspects of being a “passive” Job Seeker.
 
·        It’s a No Pressure Decision – When you are a “passive” Job Seeker, you are generally free of the pressures of needing to find an immediate job. This scenario should allow you to make the best decision possible for yourself regarding whether this new position is right for you. So, why not listen to the Recruiter who calls you? If you are not excited by what is being said, you simply decline professionally and continue to work at your current job. This is why you may hear of “active” job seekers “settling” for a position, but never the same conclusion from a “passive” seeker.
·        More Information Provided – Don’t forget that as a “passive” Job Seeker, a Recruiter has to “sell” you on the company and the position. They called you…remember! You will most likely find out a lot more about the job, the supervisor, and the company than you would normally. If this is a company you have had an interest in, by listening now, you may just find out valuable information that can help you whether now or in the future.
·        Networking Opportunity – Sometimes the Recruiter reaching out to you is someone that you either do not know, or have not connected with in a long time. Even if you decide that this position is not the right one for you, by speaking with this Recruiter you may have made a valuable contact for when you are seeking a new position. You will generally find that those “passive” Job Seekers who have done the most networking, generally have the most Recruiters contacting them.
·        Negotiation Leverage – Since the Recruiter called you, someone obviously has a serious interest in you. Couple this with already being gainfully employed and you have a situation that is best for you to maximize your salary request. If the prospective employer does not meet your demands, your backup plan is staying with your current employer.
·        Don’t Feel “Disloyal” – One of the barriers often holding up a “passive” Job Seeker, is the feeling that since they are gainfully employed they would be “disloyal” to the company if they spoke to the Recruiter. The reality is that, in today’s business environment, even the most loyal employees can find themselves quickly downsized. A person is probably doing themselves a disservice by not listening.
·        Confirm the Recruiter – I know sometimes a “passive” Job Seeker has not spoken to a Recruiter because they do not have a prior relationship and there are concerns regarding whether the person is “legitimate”. If it will help you ease your concerns, you can always cross-reference the Recruiter with a business social media site or by performing a Google search to confirm who you will be speaking with on the phone.
 
·        Make Yourself Available – It may seem to be flawed logic that a “passive” Job Seeker should make themselves available. You want Recruiters to call you, but you do not want to actively pursue them. The solution beyond networking is to make sure your resume is posted online on a site such as WNYJOBS.com.
 
If you decide to decline the invitation extended by the Recruiter to meet, understand why you went in this direction. Determine for yourself what the reasoning was (the position, company, pay, or something else). This will help you better focus in the future especially if you do need to be an “active” seeker. If the reason you declined is a general fear of making a move or change, then it is important that you also know this part of yourself. You may want to refrain from sharing this sentiment with the Recruiter, however, since this may cause them to quit calling you, fearing that it is an automatic “dead end”.
 
As always, best of luck in your job search!