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Why the tradition of "labelling" candidates isn't what we do..

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Emma Gregory candidates, business travel jobs, recruitment agency...

In recruitment, there is often talk about both “passive” and “active” candidates. Passive meaning the person is not out there regularly applying for jobs, in fact, they may not even really be looking. And “active” implies they are submitting their details online, contacting agencies,  attending multiple interviews; really pushing the boat out when it comes to finding a new role.

But we feel the lines are blurred. If someone uploads their CV to a jobs board that certainly isn’t necessarily an indication of how serious they are at moving on. They could just be seeing what’s out there, happy to engage in a phone call or two but then mysteriously disappear and realise they’d rather stay where they are. And likewise, if someone we source claims NOT to be looking for a job but then one month later we see has just moved on elsewhere, this “passive” candidate wasn’t really so passive after all.

So what is the best option when it comes to who you can rely on to take their job hunting seriously? After all, we recruiters offer a free service to candidates so the last thing we want to be doing is spending our time on someone who either isn’t motivated to find a new opportunity, or, isn’t open to hearing about something that could be perfect for them. And whilst all recruiters will agree that finding someone in our network who hasn’t been approached by another agency already can be a) rare and b) wonderful, it’s only useful if they are really and truly prepared to commit to the job you contact them about.

For us, the candidates we like to work with all share 2 major traits: Honesty and openness. No matter whether they are actively looking for a job or we contact them out of the blue, every bit of communication we have with them is transparent. Because we believe that categorising someone as a specific type of job hunter can do more damage than good – check out our reasoning below:

Passive – So, you’ve approached a candidate via whatever means with a job you think is a real head turner. And quite possibly they agree. But that sense of motivation for the job is never really there, after all, they are happy enough where they are. Interviews are not their priority and so it’s difficult to arrange, response times are slow and even when offered the job, cold feet can take hold at the last minute. You find yourself chasing after them for replies to your contact and are often advised they are “busy”. On the other hand, you may well catch someone right before they are about to post their job search online for all to see, meaning not only do you get a stab at helping them before anyone else, but you also know they ARE keen and eager to move on and were going to do something about it even before you got in touch. They might only attend interviews through you, they don’t get confused about which jobs they’ve applied for and who through, plus, you really feel like you get to know them and what they’re all about.

Active- Great! Someone is looking for a job and you have lots of suggestions for them. You know they are driven by finding a new job as they’ve already taken the leap of faith and put their CV out there so what could go wrong? Well, you could be fighting off recruiters who think the same as you. And these poor candidates are now getting flooded with calls from agencies or hiring managers who want to “chat” to them. It can become very easy for them to be overwhelmed with the unprecedented amount of contact and be scared away! We find it much better when “active” candidates choose one or two recruiters to work with initially. A mutual bond and a natural relationship should become apparent early on, if it doesn’t, then is the time to reach out to another recruiter. Active candidates also often have many interviews taking place making it hard to squeeze yours in, especially if they are currently still working.

So we’d prefer not to label our candidates in any way and instead, see everyone as people we can help right now, and people we may be able to help in the future.

If you're looking for a new role in Business Travel we are innundated with great positions right now including working on film, media, music and entertainment, advertising and financial accounts. We'd love to have an informal chat with you about your skills, experience and ideas for your future so please get in touch with emma@urbanberry.co.uk or caroline@urbanberry.co.uk