I assume all of our employees are always looking for a new job. I was at a networking event recently and happened to strike up a conversation with a woman who works as a corporate recruiter for a global retailer. Since I still hear people discussing the nuances of active and passive candidates at recruiting conferences all the time, I asked her about the distinction. Her reply? There isn’t one. She says passive candidates no longer exist.
She is right about that, at least according to a new CareerBuilder survey, that polled more than 1,000 Americans about their job hunting habits. It finds that basically today’s employees and job seekers are not two different groups, but one and the same.
“Digital behavior has blurred the distinction between an active and a passive job candidate,” says Brent Rasmussen, CareerBuilder North America’s president. “The majority of workers are regularly exposed to new job opportunities and are willing to consider them.”
“The majority of workers are regularly exposed to new job opportunities and are willing to consider them.”
Here are some more highlights from the survey:
- 74% of people surveyed are either actively searching for a new job or are open to new opportunities
- 69% of full-time workers admit that searching for new job opportunities is part of their “regular routine”
- 39% of full-time workers say they engage in that process weekly
- Nearly 35% of people begin preparing for their next job within weeks of starting a new one
CareerBuilder’s conclusions about the job search process that is “constantly on” in their words:
- “Passive” candidates are not necessarily better than “active” candidates. If anything, they might be less ambitious.
- Digital behavior has completely changed the way people research everything – including job opportunities.
- Job searching is much like shopping in terms of the extensive research that takes place prior to making a final decision. The average person uses up to 15 unique resources to research job opportunities, compared with the average shopper, who uses between 10 and 11 resources.
- Passive candidates do not exist. Nearly every worker is searching for or open to new opportunities at any given point in time – even if they just started a new job.
- Differences in search behavior changes with age. Those born into the digital age have a “leg up” on the older generation who did not have digital search behavior ingrained early on.
- Job-hopping early in a career is a direct effect of this new search behavior process.
What do you think? What lessons does this survey offer for staffing companies, corporations and small business owners about things such as talent retention and culture cultivation?