In Search of The Passive Candidate

On November 17, 2010, in HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser

In Search of Passive Candidates

“I’m doing field research into what it takes to recruit a passive job hunter”, I said.

I recently received a piece of email for a sourcing conference that teaches people how to find passive candidates. Tired of debunking this ridiculous notion, I went out to lunch at a local pub in search of a physical unit. After looking high and low, I realized that passive candidates probably all bring their lunch to work. So, I wandered into a modest 3 story office building and hunted through the cubicles for a passive job hunter.

I found him, curled in a fetal position, snoring through his lunch. Looking through his email, as long as he was sleeping, I noticed a folder called “Do Something With This Stuff”. Opening it, we discovered hundreds of incoming emails that had a variety of messages that said “If you are not interested in receiving any more mail like this, complete the following instructions.” Apparently, he wasn’t interested enough to complete the instructions.

Since lunch was ending, I jiggled his arm to wake him.

“You’re not my boss”, he said accusingly. For a moment, I was worried that I’d found a passive-aggressive job hunter by mistake.

“No, no, I was told that you were a passive job hunter.”

“Well, my boss seems to wish that I were a more active one”, he mumbled in reply. “I don’t usually wake up until a half hour after lunch. What’s so important?”

“I’m doing field research into what it takes to recruit a passive job hunter”, I said.

“Oh, that’s nice”, he replied.

“What do you think makes you a passive job hunter”, I inquired.

“Uh, I dunno”, he opined.

“Well, what kind of job would you like”, I interrogated.

“This one’s not so bad”, he articulated.

“Well, tell us about your dreams”, I urged.

“Uh, I wish I had a job where my sleep wouldn’t get interrupted. Then I could have more dreams”, he slurred.

“Hmmm”, I mumbled knowingly, “did you know there’s a whole conference devoted to finding passive people like you?”

“Oh”, he slurped, “That’s nice. Are we done yet?”

“One last question”, I assured him, “What’s your favorite job board?”

“Huh?”, he asked drifting back to sleep, “What’s a job board?”

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