Why Passive Job Hunters Have Better Results

The Best Time to Find a New Job Is When You Already Have One

Job hunting is a nerve-racking process. Scouring LinkedIn for opportunities, waiting by the phone for employers to call, and sending out countless résumés to people who may never read them is a huge pain.

But as any HR professional will tell you, the best time to look for a job is when you already have one. When you’re happily employed, your negotiating power skyrockets and you're more likely to be wooed by hiring managers with higher compensation, better benefits, and stock options. That's where passive candidacy comes in.

Passive candidates are people who aren’t actively looking for a job but would consider themselves to be “on the market.” They’re a huge commodity among corporations and headhunters because they’re stable and probably making an impact at their current company.

Headhunters call passive candidates (rather than the other way around) because passive candidates are either too busy to look for jobs themselves or aren’t actively seeking employment. They can also be candidates who will only consider another opportunity if it includes an advancement in rank, pay, or location. These professionals can be challenging to secure because HR managers will try to retain them by any means necessary.

If you’re a hard worker with a strong professional background who wouldn’t be opposed to changing jobs, you may be a passive candidate and not even know it. Even if you're not actively looking for a new position, there are four things you can do to make yourself attractive to potential employers and become a magnet for professional opportunities.