Miché van Noie, Talent Resourcer, Recruitment Division
70% of the workforce are Passive Candidates 1
30% of the workforce are Active Job Seekers
1 Research conducted by Monster Worldwide LLC in 2006
Active job seekers are open to the next opportunity to change and approaches from recruiters, actively looking for new employment. They browse job boards, post their resumes online, eagerly reply to recruiting calls and many actively search and apply for jobs. The world’s biggest job board, monster.com, refers to this group as “poised opportunists”, the majority of whom are employed.
Passive candidates, making up roughly 70% of the workforce, are generally happy employees who are not actively seeking new jobs but would be open to taking one if the right opportunity came along, although their level of attachment and loyalty to their current employer is higher than active job seekers. They have learned that lifetime employment has been replaced with jobs that are temporary and are often motivated by new job offers that provide perceived enhanced benefits such as greater opportunity for career growth, greater work-life balance, higher compensation etc. Monster have identified two sub-groups of passive candidates – namely ‘settled loyalists” and “poised loyalists”.
The settled loyalists claim allegiance to their current job and employer and are difficult to recruit as they have high personal barriers to leaving their current position.
The poised loyalists also claim allegiance to their job and employer, but have a lower personal barrier to leaving their current position. This group represents a vulnerability to their employers and an opportunity for recruiters who become fixated in identifying them and actively progressing them through the engagement cycle. Great talent resides in this portion of the workforce that is hidden away and happily content. Many are high-quality candidates suitable for specialized job roles.
Sourcing the right candidate is a growing challenge for recruiters and is likened to finding a diamond in a coal stack – once poised loyalists are found and employed, they need to be changed into settled loyalists.
Benefits of recruiting Passive Candidates
- Pursuing passive candidates denotes hiring long-term, low / zero employee turnovers, quality candidates.
- Passive candidates are valuable when it comes to being eligible for a specialist role or a required skill set.
- Passive candidates are less likely to be interviewing with other recruiters and/or employers.
- Passive candidates are unlikely to be dishonest and/or falsify their qualifications or expertise.
- Passive candidates are considered as valuable assets to the current employer.