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The passive recruitment market

Posted over 4 years ago by Rebecca Thomas
Pexels Photo 1089549

When we approach clients and inform them we will resource candidates from the active and passive market, we are frequently met with quizzical looks and the occasional “huh?”. They wonder exactly how we can source candidates from a market that claims to be passive and not actively searching for work, and also what the real difference between the two is.

Traditional Recruitment 

The traditional approach to recruitment, where candidates actively seeking a new role approach a recruiter directly through job advertisements, may be the most well known method used to hire new talent. This is known as the active market.


This market is called ‘active’ for a reason - these are individuals who are actively seeking new employment, whether due to dissatisfaction in the workplace or a lack of internal opportunities. The active market’s (fairly) immediate availability means they are easier to find.


However, just because these candidates may be easier to access, it does not always mean they will necessarily be the best fit for your organisation - by only tapping into those candidates who are actively searching for roles, you do not have access to the full candidate market. Whilst the vast majority of those actively seeking employment are undoubtedly talented, their urgency in securing a new role may come at the detriment of your employee retention. Without specialist support and recruitment advice throughout, eagerness to move may cloud their due diligence leading to accepting a role which might not be the right long-term fit.


Searching the Passive Market

Passive candidates are those who are not actively searching the market, but who may consider that ‘perfect fit’ next opportunity. In our experience, these candidates often display a huge number of positive attributes. One to consider is that more often than not, the most career driven and talented candidates are looked after by their current employer. They are therefore disconnected from the job market, where more needs to be considered in their decision making process around moving companies.


Passive candidates may also include those in more senior roles, who certainly know their worth, and are candidates who do not spend their time proactively searching for roles but rather await opportunities to come to them. In fact, most of our senior level recruitment consists of passive candidate engagement.


The passive market is highly lucrative



These talented individuals require strong levels of personal engagement and a clear demonstration of the opportunities perks and future road map. They tend to have a clear understanding of what it is that they want and this is where the support and advice of a specialist recruiter like Pitch comes in. Our network of passive candidates is built by understanding what that next move would look like for each individual and then reaching back out when such a role presents itself.


As this passive market is motivated by a more considered and cautious approach to a new career move, these candidates often translate as more committed to your company in the long-term, increasing your ability to retain and develop the very best talent for your business.



In our opinion, the passive market is an extremely under utilised segment of the candidate market, who are difficult to access without utilising a specialist recruiter. We understand the importance of securing the very best talent long-term for your organisation, which is why we have made it a personal objective to ensure all of our clients are able to access both the active and passive market through pro-active searching for each and every role.



If you would like to find out more about how utilising a recruiter to access the entire candidate talent pool could benefit you, get in touch with one of our consultants today.


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Header: Woman signing contract. Image is public domain under a Creative Commons Zero - CC0 license