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I thought I’d start blogging about finding a job – mainly because my day job is exactly building software to help employers find people to hire. If you think looking for work should be less painful, I totally agree with you. I’ll do my best to write an article a week, but, please go easy on me if I miss one…

— Mike


Hi. I’m Mike Seidle. I’m the CTO at a company that makes recruiting software. I’ve been in the “Talent Tech” or “Recruiting Tech” space since 2010. I’ve built job boards, applicant tracking software, and my current product, PivotCX is helping recruiters hire faster and making the process less painful for people looking for work. I thought I’d share with you how corporate recruiting works, and how technology fits in.

I’m going to start with how employers find people, so you can see how recruiters and hiring managers see you. By the way, recruiters refer to people looking for a job as job seekers, candidates, applicants, and sometimes, as just “seekers”.

So, let’s get started. Big picture, there are only three ways to find people to hire: active, passive, and networking.


You find active candidates by advertising a job (sometimes called posting, because back in the day someone nailed a handbill to a post) on job boards and take applications. If you apply for a job, or “submit your resume” you are called an active job seeker. Active means you are actively looking for a job.


Someone or something  (software, bots, AIs, interns, sourcers) scours the internet, resume databases, consumer data, and social sites to find people that might be a good fit. The process of finding people is called sourcing. Once you are sourced,  a recruiter then tries to get in touch with you. This is called outreach, and it is really easy to do outreach badly.  If you get a call from a recruiter, you are called a passive candidate.  You are called “passive” because you don’t know you want a new job yet.


Referral programs, in-person and online events all go in the networking bucket. If you called a friend and a recruiter called you back, chances are you are a networked candidate.

Why Does It Matter?

If you are looking for work, understanding if you are active, passive, or networked can help you dramatically increase your chance of landing a job and even getting a better deal when you do land the job. So, if you want to actually get the job, get the pay you deserve (or at least the most the employer will pay), or avoid wasting your time, you’ll need to know which bucket, active, passive or networked you find yourself in.

So… What Kind of Candidate Am I?

If you are applying for jobs or submitting your resume, you are an active candidate.

If recruiters are calling you or emailing you, you are a passive candidate.

If you are talking to someone because a friend referred you, or you met someone who passed your info on and you got a call… chances are you are a networked candidate.

So, what’s the best kind of candidate to be?

Well, there’s a lot of advice on the internet, but none of it really lines up with what I’ve learned working with tens of thousands of recruiters working at thousands of companies. The internet will tell you, “don’t apply for jobs, network your way to success.” The same internet will tell you 101 ways to optimize your resume to get the job every time you apply. You’ll also hear “20 ways to leverage recruiters to land your next great job.”  Want to know the truth?

All of it is true, and all of it will probably not work for you.

Some of it will, though.

Next time, I’ll cover how active recruiting really works, and I’ll show you how many employers deploy technology to screw you out of a job to make life easier for recruiters, and more difficult for you to find a good job.