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TAtech Tip: Target Career Activists, Not Job Seekers

TAtech Tip: Target Career Activists, Not Job Seekers
From Recruiter - July 11, 2016

There is no such thing as a passive job seeker. At best, such individuals are prospective new hires, and even that term understates the significant differences between the averagecandidate and these currently employed top performers.

Finding a more accurate term with which to describe these elusive uber-candidates is more than an exercise in semantics. Top talent see themselves differently, andwe have to see them that way as well if we want to engage and recruit them. The better our vocabulary aligns with their self-image, the more likely they are to recognize the value propositionsof our openings.

To find the right term, we must be very explicit about which cohort of the population we have in mind. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that, at any point in time, active job seekers comprise about 16 percent of the workforce. There are, of course, many top performers among those in transition, andthey are clearly passive in neitherbehavior nor self-image.

While its tempting to define the other 84 percent of the population as passive, that would be a mistake, at least for recruiters. There is a subset of that populationprobably similar in size to the cohort of active job seekerswho will never consider leaving their current employers. For that reason, we are seeking a term that defines only the remaining 68 percent of the workforcethose who are top performers, currently employed, and willing to consider a new or better job.

How do the members of that group see themselves? Certainly not as job seekers. In fact, even when they are in transition, they consider their behavior and goalsto be very different from those of the people who are simply looking for work. They operate as career activists, and their goal is not to find jobsits to advance in their careers.

Recruiting Career Activists

From time to time, a debate will break out about thefactors that are most likely to convince a passive top performer to take a new job. Some argue that money is answer, while others believe it is challenging work that attracts these top performers. While these factors arecertainly important, research indicates that, all other things being equal, its the nature of the work experience that is most likely to sway a career activist.

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