9 Stats That Will Make You Rethink Passive Job Seekers
Attracting and hiring the best talent is always a top priority–even more so in tight labor markets like the one we have today. It’s times like these when passive candidates, an estimated 75% of global job candidates, become a crucial source of hidden talent for recruiters to sift through. But for many employers, this is easier said than done.
Passive job candidates are typically defined as employed, and not actively looking for work. But the internet and the related tools produced for the job search process have led many to declare the “passive” label as outdated. As long as you have a smartphone in your pocket, you have the ability to research job opportunities to some degree. A recent report from Indeed, Talent Attraction Study: What Matters to the Modern Candidate, sheds some much needed light on passive candidates, and the nine results below may surprise you.
1. 71% of workers admit to active job searching or at least openness to a new opportunity
That’s a pretty significant majority of the labor force, and it’s the first indicator in the report that tells us passive job seekers aren’t so passive. Indeed also found that 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.
2. Among all employed adults, 65% look at new opportunities within 3 months of starting their new job
So it’s not just those making six figures who review their options soon after getting hired. More than half of all American workers can’t help but look at other jobs even though they just started a new one. Buyer’s remorse, combined with easier tools for job searching, may lead many people to reconsider their position.
3. 58% of workers look at other jobs at least every month
Moving past the initial hiring phase, still more than half of employed adults sort through other job opportunities while they’re gainfully employed. Approximately 18% review job openings daily, 20% look weekly, and 19% look once per month. Only 8% of workers look at new jobs once per year, and a further 19% claim to never look at other opportunities.
4. 72% of adults keep track of other open jobs in the market, regardless of their current status
Paying attention to trends in the labor market, especially similar open positions, is clearly important to most workers. Thanks to the internet and related technologies, many workers can run a quick job search or read reports on employment in their industry. Some are probably doing so right now, while at their current job.
5. 44% of adults subscribe to job alerts
Here’s where the line between active and passive job seekers becomes more blurry. Job alerts do the work for you, delivering notifications about new openings to your inbox for you to review or discard. So while subscribing to those alerts may be an active step, they actually allow job seekers to expand their search passively.
6. 64% have more confidence applying to jobs themselves, rather than being pursued by recruiters
This may come as a surprise, since being approached by a recruiter about a job can be a flattering experience. But Indeed found that more adults would rather find jobs to apply for themselves. In fact, 52% thought they’d be more successful in a job they found this way, compared to one supplied by a recruiter. It’s possible the new job searching tools and alerts are giving passive job seekers more confidence in their abilities.
7. If approached by recruiters, 32% of passive candidates expect a salary increase of more than 15%
Job seekers may not express as much confidence in recruiters as we’d expect, but they still see some upside to getting a job this way. Being approached by a recruiter suggests an employee is in demand, and in a way justifies a more passive approach to job searching. This leads those same passive candidates to expect a higher salary. Indeed also found that figure rises to 51% if the job in question requires relocation.
8. But 90% of recruiters say they prefer to hire active candidates
Surely recruiters know how many passive candidates are out there, but they still place a premium on active candidates. The most obvious reason is that active candidates are more engaged–they’re actively looking for a new, better opportunity. To many recruiters, this indicates they are more motivated not just to get the job, but to succeed in it. The report also found that 51% of passive candidates are not successful in a new job due to a lack of passion or commitment. This may be exactly what recruiters are watching out for.
9. Among employers, 51% feel active candidates are more motivated and driven
A further 41% said the same of passive candidates, but there is clearly a preference for active job seekers among employers, too. When it comes to talent acquisition leaders alone, 70% felt active candidates in general were more motivated to succeed in a new job.
So as the definition of passive job seekers and their methods continues to evolve, recruiters and employers may need to review their own opinions of these candidates. Passive candidates are increasingly aware of other opportunities in the job market, and they’re using more sophisticated tools to keep an eye on those openings.
Recruiters should consider engaging with more candidates through passive means, such as tailored job alerts or social media updates. And employers should review what makes any candidates successful in a new role, encouraging greater motivation to do a good job, regardless of where the hire came from.
For more information on data and analytics in recruiting, check out our new eBook, “An Exploration into the Depths of Recruiting Analytics.”