Active vs. Passive Candidates: What’s the Difference?

Active vs. Passive Candidates: What’s the Difference?

If you’ve ever seen an ad or demo for a recruitment software company, you’ve likely heard mention of active and passive candidates.

The terms active and passive refer to the candidates’ role in their job search. Simply put, active candidates are those candidates that are actively looking for a new role and passive candidates are those that are not.

However, the definition can be a bit more nuanced than that. For example, an active candidate can be either employed or unemployed because what matters most is that they are taking an active role in their job search. Passive candidates, on the other hand, are usually employed and not currently seeking new opportunities.

In recruiting, there are benefits to connecting with both types of candidates.

Engaging active candidates can imply a shorter time-to-fill as the candidate is likely more prepared for a role change. Recruiters often connect with active candidates through job postings, career fairs, and other social networking groups.

One of the biggest advantages of sourcing passive candidates is that they are less likely to be interviewing for other jobs. Additionally, reaching passive candidates can help recruiters expand their talent pool when they’re having trouble filling a role.

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