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When talent-hungry companies talk about “passive jobseekers,” they often get it wrong.
Hiring managers often use the term to refer to people whom they try to poach from jobs they already have. So, no surprise, a lot of industry surveys report that passive jobseekers are crummy people to hire — they ask for too much money and they don’t stay very long.
But in my decade of reporting on fast growing companies for Technical.ly, I’ve found the smartest companies think quite differently about this class of potential employees. These companies certainly still aggressively seek to attract active jobseekers — those people looking to leave their current role or without one. But they also seek to develop relationships with people of all stripes in the hopes of making them fans, whether or not there is a job for them yet. They do this with a robust employment branding strategy.
I’ve been thinking about this topic quite a bit over the last year. I was just a guest on the HR-focused podcast from Employee Cycle, the HR dashboard startup based in Philadelphia. Founder and podcast host Bruce Marable, whom I’ve known for years, interviewed me at length.
In the fall, I shared some of what Bruce and I spoke about in a presentation at DisruptHR (watch it below), the lightning talk series that is full of lessons. We published an ebook called Beyond Recruiting on the very topic. I love to talk about the topic: @ me.
But here’s the main point: To recruit the best people for your company, you must both speak to active jobseekers for now and build longterm relationships for the future. You want more people to know they want to work with you before they know they can.
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