As a job seeker, you must have heard about passive and active candidates. But do you know the difference between both? You might think that the differences are mainly about the personal circumstances and job search activity. More than these, however, each type has its own merits and drawbacks.

Active candidates 

Accounting for approximately 30 percent of the global workforce, active candidates are those individuals who are proactively looking for work opportunities. They might be full-time employed or unemployed. There are a number of reasons why these candidates seek new opportunities, including: 

  • Seeking growth and developing career
  • Making a career change and developing new skills 
  • Relocating to a new town or country
  • Disliking their current employers working practices or culture 
  • Taking early retirement but missing the world of work 
  • Employer was acquired by a new business and they fear their future
  • Downsizing 
  • Quitting the previous job voluntarily or were fired 

In short, active job seekers are the most active on job boards, corporate career pages, and proactively register with recruiters and executive search firms. They spend considerable time polishing personal brand to get the job of their dream. 

See also: Industries with the Most Job Opportunities in 2021 

Passive candidates 

LinkedIn estimates that 70 percent of the global workforce are passive talents. These candidates are not actively job seeking as they have not come to the conclusion to leave their current employer. But this does not mean they are not interested in hearing about new opportunities. 

Passive candidates do not make themselves known to recruiters and other executive search. They will not apply to a job advert and are unlikely to be swayed by a talent acquisition campaign. Commonly, passive candidates are in full-time employment, with potentially long notice periods for senior-level candidates. 

The reasons why some individuals become passive candidates include: 

  • Having the right skills and attributes and continuing to polish these in the nurturing environment of their current employer 
  • Having no pressure to leave, so the acceptance of an interview indicates genuine interest in a role and organisation
  • Not interviewing elsewhere, but are likely to be able to make a fast, informed decision when an offer is made. 

In short, passive candidates are top performers who are qualified but will not be interviewing with competitors. 

The middle category: Tiptoers 

Tiptoers are unlikely to be on the radar of talent acquisition and HR teams. They will be keeping a low profile, proactively reaching out and engaging with their networks in the hope of enquiring and securing referral. 

Tiptoers will not have launched their job search strategy or be applying to open vacancies just yet. They have made an important decision to move on from their current employer for the following reasons: 

  • Seeking to grow and develop their career 
  • Wanting a career change and developing new skills 
  • Wanting a relocation 
  • Disliking their current job, employers, work culture, or working practices 
  • Having early retirement and missing world of work 

In short, tiptoers have made the decision to leave their current company but have not yet started their job search. Thus, they will unlikely to be in an interview process with a recruiter and might even have their job search touch points in pace for a fast turnaround. 

Those are three categories of job seekers, which one are you? 

Read also: 7 Hard Skills That’ll Guarantee You Job 

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