What is a passive job candidate?

April 8th, 2016

Just about anyone in a company may have to recruit at some point in their career, but if you’re not entrenched in the world of talent acquisition, you may not be up to speed on all recruiting jargon. Like “passive candidate” for example.  Recruiters are not making a judgement call about a candidate’s personality, instead they are categorizing them based on who is seeking who.

what-is-passive-job-candidateGoogle offers a great definition: A passive candidate (passive job candidate) is someone who is being considered for a position but is not actively searching for a job.

An active candidate, on the other hand, is someone searching for a job. They are on the job boards, going to networking events, emailing recruiters and applying to open jobs. In that case, the candidate is actively seeking a new job. For passive candidates, it’s the recruiters who found them. A recruiter came across information about a person or found their online job profile and thinks they are a great fit for a certain job and/or company. In this case, the recruiter is seeking the candidate.

Passive candidates are often considered to be higher quality candidates, but they can also be more difficult to engage and convince to make a career move. As the economy shifts back and forth from an employer’s market to a candidate’s market, the number of active candidates ebbs and flows. LinkedIn reports that “Passive talent accounts for 79% of working professionals around the world.” Regardless of whether or not passive talent is better or not, targeting passive candidates should always be a part of your recruiting strategy, especially for rare & hard-to-fill roles. Here’s a few suggestions for how to catch the attention of A+ talent that ignores you.

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One Response to “What is a passive job candidate?”

  1. Is Passive Talent Better Than Active Job Seekers? | The CBI Group Says:

    […] answer isn’t clear. There are benefits to both hiring active and passive talent. Passive talent is often that very niche pool of candidates that has a specialized skill set, and therefore highly […]

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