Passive vs. Unemployed

The debate goes on and on. And Recruiter Mark Bregman just stirred the pot  a little more with his recent post, “True or False: Available Job Candidates are Better than Ever”?

Even with an advertised unemployment rate of 10%, the perception by many recruiters and companies is that the A-players are the ones that are still employed. Therefore, in the war for top talent, the passive candidate is still the top target and the preferred prospect.

It’s not fair. And it may not even be true. But the world we live in today is based on perceptions. So …

If you are employed currently, but might consider a move within the next 1 to 3 years, begin executing your career management plan today. If you want the recruiters beating down your door as a high-value target, then you must understand your value proposition and begin creating subject matter expert positioning while you are the most marketable.

If you are unemployed, your challenge is much more difficult. Part of that difficulty comes from a) not understanding what it is about you that makes you marketable, particularly if you did not work yourself out of the job; b) relying too heavily on job postings; and / or c) a defeated or negative aura that can manifest itself in desperation after a period of months with no prospects in sight. My recommendations are a) be clear about your value and who would be willing to pay to get it, b) move away from the job postings game because it is ineffective and a waste of your valuable job search time, and c) drop any negativity or desperation off the nearest 20-foot floor building.

Even if things pick up mid-January, and that looks positive, it will remain an employer’s market. Companies will continue to want the right, top-notch Finance Leaders who are a great fit with their existing culture rather than the “perceived” B- or C-players who are more readily available.

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3 thoughts on “Passive vs. Unemployed”

    • Thanks Lisa. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow for those folks who are unemployed, but, if it encourages them to get into the driver’s seat of their career for the future, it will be good lesson learned. I love Matt Bud’s (FENG) comment … “you’re only ever between searches.” And it’s a mentality that transforms the job search paradigm.


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