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Active VS Passive - How to get noticed

09 February 2018 by Grant Brummer
Chair Chat Conversation 711009

Often discussed in human resources and recruitment, the ability to identify active and passive candidates is key to your success. How do you distinguish them?

Let’s begin with the reality that the difference is not always so cut and dry. For example, passive candidates might not always be passive; they might be looking to do market research out of curiosity. The two groups often extend to unemployed, employed but looking, employed but not looking, or employed and not open to a new opportunity. All the various types of candidates noted have different motivations, interests, and a recruitment strategy has to appeal to each to find, and hire, the best candidates for a role.

Whilst an active candidate is actively looking for work, this does not necessarily mean they are unemployed. The employed candidate could be looking for a whole host of reasons: concern about their current job stability, the desire for more responsibility, their employer went out of business, a dislike of their company culture or their job was outsourced. Roughly 25% of the fully-employed workplace fall into this category and most job opportunities are filled from this group as they are proactively seeking their next position.

Another group of candidates open to opportunities have been nicknamed ‘tiptoers’; while not actively applying for jobs, they are preparing to move on and inquiring within their networks about opportunities. An Employee Referral Program and online profile will help your company connect with these candidates on the cusp, a group that makes up about 15% of the workforce at any given time.

Passive candidates are those who are employed and not actively looking, but would consider new opportunities, including the 15% of professionals who are ‘tiptoers’, this group accounts for 75% of the workforce. The benefit of seeking a passive candidate is that they won’t be interviewing with anyone else. Be warned, however, they may be part of the 15% (the super-passive) that are NOT open to new opportunities.

To successfully approach all the aforementioned groups, you need to develop an effective strategy that appeals to each of them and addresses the key points below:

  • Development of your ‘Talent Brand’ is essential; 75% of job seekers would not accept a role with a company that has a bad reputation, even if they are unemployed.

  • Job postings, while traditionally used for attracting active candidates, should be written with ‘tiptoers’ in mind.

  • Social media channels are an ideal way to share your employment brand and job postings, and also proactively sourcing active and passive candidates.

  • Employee Referral Programs should act as the primary method of recruiting semi-active candidates as they reach out to their network first and these candidates may be swayed by a friend’s advice.

Going through the application and interview process to ensure it’s a positive experience. Doing so will help find and recruit the best possible candidates. Consider tailoring applications for semi-active and passive candidates with the inclusion of an online profile and scheduling interviews around employed candidates working hours.

If you are having difficulty finding the right person for your organisation and have looked in all the job boards and social media channels, we can help you tap into the passive market and find the best talent!

T: +44(0)203 763 9500

E: info@skillfindergroup.com