The so-called "passive" job seekers, those who are employed but open to changing employers, have better chances of being recruited than active job seekers, those who are unemployed.
Future Workplace, a research firm, conducted a survey entitled "The Job Seeker Dilemma", involving 4,347 job seekers and 129 human resources professionals. It found that passive job seekers are more attractive to recruiters. Indeed, 80% of HR professionals believe passive job seekers are likely to become the most effective employees. They also believe the latter are likely to have more experience (44%), possess more valuable skills (44%), and take their careers seriously (42%).
Therefore, in the job market, passive job seekers have a better edge over active job seekers. This is particularly true of passive job seekers with a wide network of contacts. Indeed, according to HR professionals, employee referrals are the best recruitment method. Yet, only 7% of job seekers use referrals from their network for finding a job.
In addition, few job seekers, whether active or passive, are aware of the bias recruiters have in favor of passive job seekers. When asked about who had the better edge in the job market, only 47% said passive job seekers.
Recruiting Passive Job Seekers
According to another survey on recruiting trends in 2017, conducted by LinkedIn, employee referral make up 48% of quality hires. In order to benefit from this precious lever, a structured referral program with attractive incentives needs to be set up, to motivate employees to refer professionals who could prove an asset for the organization.
The other important tool is the employer branding. In this same LinkedIn study, 80% of employers believe their employer brand has a significant impact on their ability to hire. However, a paradox exists: most of them don't invest enough to build and enhance this employer brand. But much also depends on knowing which elements of this brand appeal most to candidates.
While organizations like to put forward their company culture, company reputation and challenging work, candidates don't necessarily have the same elements in mind when the time comes to think about a future employer. While company culture and values rank first, it is the perks and benefits that come in second–over company mission and vision. However, according to LinkedIn, employers should also focus on career advancement and development opportunities within the company, since 44% of employees said this would be the deciding factor when accepting a job offer.