It’s Time to Stop Calling Them Passive Job Seekers

passive job seekers

In the world of recruitment, we use the terms “Active and Passive Job Seeker,” to differentiate between people who are actively searching for jobs, whether out of work or ready for a change, and those who are currently employed, but may be convinced to consider another opportunity.

Before the Internet and social media, candidates had to work hard to find and apply to jobs. But with technology leading to greater access coupled with people changing jobs more frequently, I propose that a new term needs to be implemented. Call it the “Always Looking” Job Seeker, the “Semi-Active” Job Seeker, the “Opportunistic” Job Seeker.

The word passive is outdated. As long as you have a smartphone, you always have the ability to look for job opportunities. A recent Indeed study (Talent Attraction Study: What Matters to the Modern Candidate) demonstrates how job seekers have changed:

  • 71% of workers admit to active job searching or at least openness to a new opportunity. This statistic shows that passive job seekers are no longer the majority.
  • 50% of adults who earn between $100,000 and $110,000 start reviewing new job opportunities within just 28 days of the start of their current role
  • Among all employed adults, 65% look at new opportunities within 3 months of starting their new job.
  • 58% of workers look at other jobs at least every month. 18% review job openings daily.
  • 44% of adults subscribe to job alerts, which deliver notifications right to your inbox

Switching jobs has become more common, especially among millennials and younger generations. Currently employed millennials typically plan to stay in their current role for only a year or two. They may not be actively job seeking, but would be willing to switch for a better opportunity, whether that means better perks, better advancement potential, a greater feeling of purpose or something else.

Targeted email job alerts with matching and learning technology, such as ZipRecruiter, allow individuals to keep an eye on possible job opportunities without lifting a finger. Social media sites and niche online communities like Stack Overflow for developers, allow potential job seekers to learn about company culture, values and opportunities, where they are already spending their time online.

As the passive and active job candidate line becomes more blurred, companies need to utilize a mix of tools including social media, job alerts, specialty niche communities and referrals to reach these “in-between” candidates.

Originally published at SCG Advertising & PR.