Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM
Digital Transformation Through Agile Delivery
IT Agility AbilityTM

Passive vs Active: What type of candidate is the one to go for?

By . December 20, 2018
In recruitment, candidates fall into one out of two categories, passive candidates and active candidates. What are the differences between the two types and which one should employer focus on?


Passive Candidates

Passive candidate are those who are currently in employment and are content in their current role. They are not looking for a new job but if the right job is offered to them they may be interested. To attract passive candidates, employers will need to offer an incentive to them in some manner whether it is monetary or beneficial, passive candidates have to be persuaded to change from one employer to another.


Active Candidates

Active candidates are the polar opposite to passive candidate. These candidates are ‘actively’ looking for new position and opportunities where they can learn new skills and advance their career. As long as a new position can give a passive candidate new skills, passive candidate are happy to job hop with little persuasion.


In the past, passive candidate where highly sought after. They were seen to be skilled and happy in their current position and employers wanted candidates who are loyal to their company. Active candidates were seen as lower quality and motivationally suspect. Nowadays the demand for passive candidates has diminished.

At present employers are interested in the active candidate. The candidate who is highly skilled and keeping an ear open for new employment opportunities that may arise. As active candidates are more interested in new opportunities, recruiters are moving towards active candidates to fill roles.


Who should an employer choose?

It’s difficult to suggest what type of candidate an employer should choose. Both have their pros and con’s. Passive candidates possess the loyalty that employers want, knowing that passive candidates are in it for the long haul. Active candidates are motivated. They want to learn new skills and will go where new skills can be learned.

You can’t really pick a candidate depending on what category that they fall under and with millennials being the talk of the town, the passive-active argument may come to an end. As we know millennials stay in roles for shorter periods compared to previous generations and as time goes on more and more millennials are going to be in the workforce. In order to change the active nature of millennials it will be up to the employer to take action to try and stop the millennials from job hopping.

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