Active vs. Passive Candidates: Who Should You Hire Next?


Finding the best possible candidates to fill open positions within your company really comes down to the types of recruitment strategies you put into practice. Whether you’re seeking out active or passive candidates, there are certainly benefits and pitfalls of both recruitment methods. Keep reading to learn about the difference between the two and how you can determine which one is the most effective strategy for your company.

What Are Active Candidates?

Simply put, active candidates are people who are currently devoting a great deal of time and effort into finding employment. Whether they’re currently unemployed, looking to make a career switch, or are employed but looking to work elsewhere, these are people who are actively seeking out specific job opportunities. They know what they want and they’re going after it. These candidates are highly motivated by something that’s pushing them forward to find the right employment to suit their specific skillset and interests. It’s up to you as a hiring manager to decide whether or not those talents match up with your company values and specifications of the role(s) you’re offering. Generally, hiring managers seem to be under the impression that active job seekers are desperate and don’t really know what they want, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Just because someone is currently unemployed, that doesn’t mean they’re not motivated or engaged enough in their job search efforts to find appropriate work. Sometimes, it could just mean they’ve been laid off due to budget cuts or are down on their luck because employers are too afraid to take a chance on them. These types of prejudices often govern the way recruiters and hiring managers view active job seekers.

What Are Passive Job Seekers?

Passive job seekers are people who either aren’t seeking out new employment opportunities at all or they’re applying to a few jobs here and there just to keep their options open. It’s been argued that recruiters and hiring managers should approach passive job seekers instead of active ones because these people are more likely to have the skillsets required to perform better at the jobs employers are offering, but this theory has yet to be corroborated. The argument is that there’s usually an influx of underqualified job seekers applying to the same jobs and employers are getting frustrated due to the lack of the quality of applicants, which also impacts their turnaround rates.

Why Are Active Candidates Better Than Passive Candidates?

Active candidates are usually hungry for work, which means they’ll put in every bit of effort they can possibly muster into not only obtaining, but also keeping the jobs they want. They’re:

  • Proactively seeking employment opportunities
  • Ready to engage and express interest
  • Committed and passionate with a positive attitude and the will to learn new things
  • Intrinsically motivated
  • Extremely open to change

What Role Does Resolve Recruit Inc. Play?

Resolve Recruit Inc. is committed to helping hiring managers find the right candidates for the roles they’re looking to fill. We keep a detailed database full of potential job seekers and keep track of their professional and personal set of skills and experience that can help you determine whether they’d be a good fit for your company. To learn more about our recruitment process, please contact us.