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Are You a Passive or Active Job Candidate?: The Benefits & Drawbacks of Each

Posted October 24, 2018

Today’s workforce is made up of diverse candidates: those without a job who are actively looking for one, those with a job looking for something better, those with a job but aren’t happy with company culture, etc. The list goes on and on.

No matter what your situation, understanding what type of candidate you are can help you to further your career— and we’re here to show you how.

Let’s begin by determining what kind of candidate you are, look at some of the pros and cons of each and offer an all-encompassing solution to help any candidate advance on their professional path.


Are you an Active Candidate?

An active job searcher is just like it sounds: someone who is proactively looking for a new career.

Active candidates are typically the types of candidates who take tangible actions to aline themselves with new opportunities. This type of job searcher might:

  • Regularly check and maintain an active LinkedIn profile: posting often, endorsing the skills of others and asking for recommendations
  • Seek opportunities to broaden their network like attending conferences, professional mixers, etc.
  • Make frequent updates to their resume
  • Regularly check and apply to new job postings on career portals
  • Tell those in their close network they are on the hunt for a new job and ask about opportunities

Many proactive job hunters are doing so because they are currently unemployed. Whether they lost their job because of financial cutbacks like outsourcing, their company went out of business or they quit or got fired, some job searchers are more pressured to act fast to secure a steady flow of income.

However, being an active candidate doesn’t necessarily mean you are jobless. Active candidates could still be holding a position, but aren’t happy in their current situation. Perhaps they don’t fit in with the culture, want to take on more or less responsibility or have concerns about the company’s long-term stability. Only about 25% of those currently employed full-time consider themselves “active” job seekers, according to a survey of 18,000 professionals in 26 countries.


Are you a Passive Candidate?

Passive candidates are employed and not actively searching for a new career, but would be open to one if the opportunity presented itself. This type of candidate makes up a whopping 75% of the workforce according to the study linked above.

These are individuals who are typically happy where they’re at (or happy enough for now) and typically not interviewing or even on the lookout for jobs. However, 45% are still open to consider a new opportunity when approached by a recruiter.


Are you Somewhere In Between?

Passive job searchers are somewhere in between proactive and passive candidates, often looking for opportunities, but not necessarily applying for new positions. They’re typically window-shoppers who scroll through job listings “just to see what’s out there.”

These types of searchers likely:

  • Don’t have a fresh resume ready to go
  • Gently ask those in their network about new opportunities
  • Probably don’t want their employer to know they’re considering other opportunities and feel scared to actively advertise their interest for fear of losing their current role
  • Might not have or want to invest time in lengthy application processes
  • Would take an opportunity if it was handed to them easily

These are typically candidates who aren’t thrilled about aspects of their current role, but think they might not receive some of the current benefits they have elsewhere. Those on this cusp can seesaw between wanting to make a transition or waiting for things to get better with their current employer.


Pros & Cons of Each Type

No matter what type, you have some clear benefits and drawbacks:

While active job hunters have access to the widest network of opportunities, they likely have added pressure to secure a new role fast, and might not necessarily have the financial liberty to wait for the right position to open up. This could lead to settling on salary, benefits, growth-oriented decision-making and even on an overall role, sometimes taking a job involving something they know they can do well, but don’t necessarily want to do.

On the other hand, passive candidates could be missing better opportunities by not looking at all. Although they feel stable in their current position and don’t invest time and effort into job hunting, they often wait for a career move to present itself, and often jump on it instead of weighing all their options.

Those who fall somewhere in between the active and passive candidates are taking a step towards controlling their career, but aren’t acting as boldly as they could. They don’t have to worry about investing time filling out applications, but they’re also not making any tangible progression. In a sense, they’re actually wasting time by only scrolling through job boards and not making any moves.


The Solution for Any Candidate

All three of these types of candidates could benefit from a new form of job hunting: anonymous searching.

Here’s how it works: you sign up to GoGig and fill out a personality profile, without listing your name. Just like a dating application, you add attributes about yourself and your preferences— with GoGig, you too build out a profile. Then, you simply wait for a match.

No need to spruce up your resume, apply to postings or alert your boss you’re on the prowl by signing up to a traditional career portal. Your profile remains anonymous and recruiters seek you out based on your experience and skills.

Take 2-4 minutes to fill out your profile and wait for an interested company to start the conversation. It’s that easy. Active hunters no longer have to put in so much work to find and apply for positions, passive candidates need not invest much time and still have opportunities rolling in and those in between are given some options to weigh. Sign up today!

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