Waleed Anwar (Assoc CIPD) certRP- MD Upfront HR
I believe that having access to a diverse and competitive database of candidates is the key to success for any recruiter, it allows the recruiter to give their client more options during their selection process.
As a recruiter, I am always approached by candidates that are actively looking for new opportunities and I always endeavour to make it part of my daily routine to speak to as many of these candidates as possible, by speaking to these candidates not only do I get to find out more about the candidate and possibly match them to open positions that I am working on but I also find that having this conversation gives me a good insight into the job market from their prospective. Active candidates would have a current and live status update on open jobs, who’s recruiting and which companies are expanding in the market. These active candidates typically approach me to seek opportunities that are not visible to them, opportunities which are usually within the “hidden jobs market”, roles that are not advertised or open to applications publicly. There are many reasons as to why these jobs are not known to active candidates but most commonly it would be due to internal employer policy reasons, lack of internal resources or simply lack of time from the client.
Ideally, I like to work and represent active candidates for opportunities from the hidden job market because this would give candidates a better chance of securing interviews, avoid duplicating job applications and allow me serve my client’s needs in a more efficient manner.
On the other hand, I aim to do the same thing when presenting candidates to my clients, I would present clients with candidates that are otherwise unobtainable and visible to their recruitment or HR team. These candidates are passive and not actively looking for roles, as oppose to the Active candidates that are always applying for jobs and networking to find a job. That said, theses passive candidates are not really job ready candidates or passive, they are not looking for jobs at all! Maybe a better description for these individuals would be professionals from the hidden talent market. These individuals don’t have an interest in considering a new position, most of the time they are content, loyal and very committed to their current employer, they tend to be very careful when considering new opportunities and take many factors into account prior to even sharing their CV with recruiters. In most cases a very detailed and thorough recruitment and headhunting process goes into finding these potential candidates but nonetheless, it is very important for me to engage professionals from the hidden talent market and to understand what would make them consider new roles.
In my opinion it is important for any recruiter to have access to both active candidates and potential candidates from the hidden talent market. It would be unfair to say that one is better than the other, the aim is to provide the client with the option of seeing both types of candidates before making the hiring decision. By interviewing candidates from the hidden talent market - who they usually would not have access to - as well as the active candidates, they can select the best person for the job knowing that they have explored and selected from a wide and diverse talent pool.