Are you aware of what the ‘active to passive’ ratio in hiring refers to? I have been asked recently by hiring managers and recruiters about mine. The active to passive ratio reflects the number of people interviewed who are currently unemployed versus employed. An active candidate is currently unemployed and actively looking for a position. Hence, the reason that they are referred to as an ‘active’ candidate. A passive candidate is currently employed, relatively satisfied with their current position and may or may not be interested in a new position. They are ‘passively’ looking for a position, in contrast to the purposeful direction of that of an active. However, when considering this terminology, the one question I always have to ask is: “why is that important?”

The fact is that some employers are specifically not hiring people because they are unemployed. They believe that all of the unemployed people out there are unqualified candidates. The thought process is that if this person lost their job, then they must have been underperforming. As a hiring specialist, I can tell you that I see an amazing amount of qualified applicants in both categories, unemployed and employed. Classifying these individuals as ‘unqualified’ for a position does not even come close to an accurate reflection of the truth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 2 million people quit their jobs in April 2010, the highest amount in over a year. Are you going to tell me they are all unqualified?

Also, there are some amazing benefits to hiring someone who is unemployed: 1) they can start right away. If you are hiring someone who is employed, they will need to give at least two weeks’ notice, and many of the employed candidates want to give 3-4 weeks’ notice. 2) They are well rested. They have had a break, and they are really ready to get back into the work force. 3) They are easier to schedule for interviews, because they aren’t restricted by a work schedule.

When it comes to hiring, one of the best steps that an individual can take for their company is to set aside any thoughts or ideas that will hinder hiring the right person. It’s not easy, but sitting across from the candidate with an open mind and a positive attitude is actually one of the easiest ways to be successful in getting the right person on board.

Judging an entire group of people based on one qualification is called a bias or a prejudice. It is not only wrong, but it simply misses the whole point and is highly ineffective. There is no way that you can accurately sum up an entire group of individuals and their qualifications by their being an ‘active’ or ‘passive’ hire. You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge a person’s effectiveness by their employment status.

Author's Bio: 

Beth Smith graduated from the University of Texas in 1995 with degrees in History and Social Work, a minor in English, and additional course work in psychology, philosophy and child development. She has won awards for Women Who Make a Difference in Boulder, Business Owner of the Year, and Certificates of Service for The Hill Alliance and The Responsible Hospitality Group. Beth developed the Response Analysis System™ that has proven effective with 91% of hires still employed by the company after 12 months. Beth Smith has conducted thousands of interviews using her proprietary Response Analysis System™.