The demand for tech continues to increase. However, so does the amount of time it takes to fill out applications for jobs in information technology. While the economy and unemployment continue to bounce up and down, most employed candidates are not active job seekers. Recruiters define passive job seekers as those who have careers and aren’t applying to jobs but may be open to new opportunities. If you consider yourself as a passive candidate, keep these passive job search tips in mind.

Reasons Passive Job Seekers Should Consider Staying Warm

Even if you consider yourself a passive job seeker, think about establishing a relationship with a career counselor before you find another job opportunity. The more communication you can have with a tech recruiter, the more likely they will fully understand your goals. Once establishing a forthcoming relationship, a busy tech recruiter can better remember you when they find an opportunity that aligns well with your goals during your passive job search.

In addition, a career counselor will gather a pool of potential companies actively hiring that may not be listed in regular job listings. Companies typically hire tech recruiters to identify and attract top-level candidates for highly desired positions. To successfully find these candidates, employers understand that most of them will not be active.

The most qualified candidates are those that are passive, employed and using their skills on a daily basis. Furthermore, they are a valuable asset to their current employer due to their ability to excel. Lastly, a tech recruiter knows it is very important to keep the job search confidential until they have found a position that is desirable to the candidate and outweighs the benefits of the current position.

female passively searching for jobs at desk coding at night

How to find the right career counselor

For quite some time, recruiting firms gained a reputation for being flaky and spam-like. However, this reputation coincides with large firms expanding their offices located across the country. It can be difficult to find a skilled tech recruiter during a passive job search. However, here are some of our best tips:

man on passive job search at desk on phone looking at code
  • Spend time with experienced recruiters, 5+ years of consistent agency experience shows loyalty, commitment and a longer term perspective on the market
  • An experienced recruiter can give details on the firm, their firms position in the market and should have a deep professional network
  • They should have a conversation with you based on your expertise, career goals and requirements to move your career forward
  • Notice if the conversation focuses on you and your career progression, or the hot job you are perfect for right now that may or may not help your career.
  • Notice how quickly they respond to you (ideally 24-48 hours)
  • During the phone interview the recruiter should set up an onsite interview at a time that is convenient
  • Notice how much time they take during an interview to answer your questions about positions, companies, or any technical questions you have. Beware if they leave no time for your questions.
  • The recruiter will help you through the interview process with a hiring authority; preparation, mechanics of the interview and follow up.
  • The firm should connect with you immediately after an offer and be available to answer any questions you may have.
  • The recruiting firm will help you accept the new offer and coordinate your resignation from your current employer. If necessary, the firm can help you with counter-offer considerations.
  • A good recruiting firm will help you manage your chosen career path over a long period of time.

How to get ready for your job search

  • Find out what you are worth in today’s job market.
  • Maintain a weekly journal of your accomplishments on the job or in other active roles so you can keep track of the specifics. Having a record of your top achievements will make it easier to write cover letters and prepare for interviews.
  • Update your resume to incorporate your latest achievements and professional activities.
  • Be ready to summarize your current career interests and most compelling assets succinctly should you encounter a potential networking contact or recruiter.
  • Continually expand your roster of contacts. When you meet someone who might be able to help with a future job search, connect with them on LinkedIn and any other career and social networking platforms you use. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you will have to explore the right companies you may want to work for.
  • Create a career plan to show the recruiter. This will help the recruiter to help you stay on the right path and keep your skills current.
  • Stay active with professional organizations to maintain and expand your network. Writing articles, helping to organize conferences and presenting at association programs are all ways to maintain a high profile.
  • Make a list of references. Think comprehensively about prospective references including employees, supervisors, suppliers, clients, and other key business partners. Write LinkedIn recommendations for targeted individuals and many will reciprocate.
  • Evaluate your job satisfaction and opportunities for growth if you believe your current field is no longer suitable given your current interests or lifestyle.
  • Have an emergency fund in case you lose your job unexpectedly. Adequate savings will afford you the opportunity to be more selective as you seek a new job.

You don’t have to stay in active job seeking mode, but taking some time to generate a relationship with a high-quality recruiter can bring opportunities, dream jobs, that you may never hear about without this effort. The best recruiters will help you keep everything in order, so that in the event of an unexpected job loss, or if an ideal job comes along, you will have saved valuable time in today’s highly competitive market.