Exploring New Locations

5 Reasons Active Candidates Are Better Candidates

Somewhere in your years of recruiting, you probably heard it said that passive physician candidates are better than active candidates. If a doctor’s worth hiring, they’re already happily employed, right?

Not necessarily. Just because a physician is looking for work doesn’t mean they are desperate or incompetent. There are many reasons why highly skilled, conscientious doctors search for new opportunities—and many reasons you should pursue them.


1. They’re Motivated Go-Getters

Don’t assume that a physician is out of work if they’re exploring new opportunities. They may simply wish to relocate for family reasons, to pursue more of a leadership role, or to further their education. Or perhaps their current role wasn’t all it was promised. In any case, they’re taking the initiative to improve their station in life, and you want a candidate who’s driven, right?

According to a Candidate Behavior study, 71% of currently employed Americans are actively searching for new jobs as part of their routine. Of those, 27% search for new jobs as often as every week. In other words, actively looking candidates are often gainfully employed but seeking to better their station in life.

Passive candidates, on the other hand, are happier in their current jobs—or at least complacent. They’re not motivated to make a change, and it may take a lot more convincing to recruit them.

2. They’re Responsive

Whatever their reasons for looking for a new opportunity, active physician candidates are motivated and receptive. They’re much more likely to answer that phonecall, respond to emails, and explore well-presented opportunities. Conversely, passive candidates tend to be play much more hard-to-get. Think of all those unanswered emails and phone calls that come from pursuing passive physician candidates! Wouldn’t you rather reach out to a qualified candidate who actually wants to connect with you, too?

3. They Sign Contracts Faster

You know that feeling you get when you decide to end a relationship, move away from your hometown, or quit your job? That’s exactly how an active candidate feels. He or she has carefully weighed the pros and cons of staying and is ready to make a move. This type of candidate has already moved on in his or her mind, so the negotiation process will likely be much smoother than with a passive candidate.

4. Their CVs and Profiles Are Up to Date

Have you ever wasted your time pursuing a passive candidate whose LinkedIn profile seemed just like what you were looking for, only to have them turn out to be on a different track? It happens all the time. People who are content in their jobs tend to let their CVs and online profiles get a bit out of date. Active job seekers, however, are much more likely to have up-to-date profiles, CVs, and websites. They’re looking for work, so they’re putting their best foot forward. That saves you a lot of time.

5. They Give You the Upper Hand

Passive physician candidates generally have the upper hand in contract negotiations—you called them, so that puts them in a position of power right away. Active physician candidates have reached out to you, which means you have the upper hand. Because of this subtle but powerful fact, you probably find yourself spending more time and money in negotiations with passive candidates. Simply put: active candidates can cost you less, in dollars, time, and energy.

A Good Candidate’s a Good Candidate—Active or Passive

Of course, all of this is not to say that passive physician candidates aren’t worth pursuing at all! They can certainly be a good source of quality talent, and you should definitely devote some time to recruiting them. But pursuing active physician candidates can bring you equally great results, if not better ones. Ultimately, you’re looking for good candidates. The way to evaluate their merit is by their skill set, their past performance, and the way they present themselves in an interview—not by how they came to connect with you.

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