11/21/2013 05:46 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

How to Hire Aggressively Progressively

There is a lot of talk about recruiting passive job seekers, and for good reason. Passive job seekers can be an asset to employers and are ideal for recruiting because they are already toying with the idea of a career move before recruiters ever reach them. They have begun to explore their options and dip their toes in the job search waters but haven't jumped all the way into the job search scene. While recruiters have seen the value of passive job seekers for some time, there is a sector of these seekers that is especially attractive to employers and recruiters: the versatile, passive job seeker.

In our economy and in the age of lean startups, employers have a growing need for team members that not only show up to work and play their designated position in the game but also are able to play whatever position opens up. This means that an employee must be great at many things, not just a star in one area. The good news is there is an enormous amount of potential candidates that fall in this category. In fact, 74 percent of all workers would leave their current job if a better opportunity arose.

Which job seekers are the right ones?

Because there are such a large number of these potential candidates, it's important to make sure you're recruiting the right passive job seekers -- the versatile, progressive ones. It may seem like finding those cream-of-the-crop candidates would be like finding a needle in a haystack, but it's actually much simpler. It's all about identifying key traits of versatile employees. There are some traits that are applicable across the board, regardless of industry, but it can also be helpful to evaluate your own employees, especially those your "rock stars" posses.

Forward-thinking and resourceful

By their very nature, passive job seekers are resourceful and forward-thinking because although they are already employed, they are looking ahead and exploring the next opportunity. To identify those that may set themselves apart in the workplace by utilizing those qualities, take a look at where and how they are exposing themselves to job opportunities. Are they sticking to one avenue of finding a job, or are they getting creative? For instance, a passive job seeker may be active on LinkedIn but a resourceful, forward-thinking, passive job seeker may use several resources such as connecting with companies on Facebook and participating in Twitter chats.

Varied experience with proven success

There are a lot of job seekers out there with varied experience. In fact, some passive job seekers could be seen as job hoppers as 35 percent of workers are preparing for their next job within weeks of starting a job. Because of this, it's important to hone in on those employees who have the varied experience coupled with proven success. The proven success criteria could be fulfilled by recommendations from former supervisors (not just co-workers), awards, reports of measurable/quantitative results or an impressive portfolio. In my opinion, even the ability or desire to take risks (such as a new career path or relocating) says a lot about a candidate.

Always learning

The candidate who loves to learn and is characterized by curiosity is the same person that will someday be able to wear many hats within your company. It's not necessarily about finding the candidates that held 4.0 GPAs in college (though that never hurts) but instead is about finding those who are constantly reading industry news, networking with other professionals, holding online discussions and always learning, whether that is from people, research or experience.

Whether your company employs 10 people or 10,000 people, we have all seen how vital it is that team members are able to jump from one role to the next with a seamless transition.

When you find these passive job seekers who end up being your most versatile and valuable employees, you fully understand how important these traits are.

What key traits of rock star, passive job seekers would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.