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Does the passive candidate market exist in a recession?

Posted 18 days ago by Sally Sephton
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When pitching to clients one of biggest selling points we put across is that we can search the passive candidate market, normally to fill hard to find executive, managerial and board level positions.

However as businesses are looking to make cut-backs to secure their financial position, resulting in forecasts of 2.5m workers being unemployed by the end of 2020, businesses are right to question whether the passive candidate market still exists.

What is the passive candidate market?

You may wonder how recruiters can source candidates from a market which claims to be passive and not actively looking for work.

Whilst passive candidates are not typically actively searching the market, they are those who would consider making a move for a “perfect fit” opportunity.

To put it into perspective during 2019;

  • 3 out of 4 of our placements were made by directly hunting for passive talent
  • 1 in 8 of Birmingham professionals only belong to the active talent market
  • 1 in 9 Manchester professionals only belong to the active talent market.

Why should I search the passive candidate market?

These statistics highlight the sheer scale of passive candidates compared to the active market, as a business owner access to these markets is a vital resource for your business, especially if you are looking to fill roles with niche skill sets.

But with companies receiving hundreds and in some cases thousands of applications for one role, you may believe somewhere in that pile is the perfect candidate for you.

It could happen. But it likely won’t, as many candidates are mass applying for roles without screening their own suitability before-hand, meaning that finding the right person for your business could be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Does the passive candidate market still exist

Our recent research found that up to 60% of furloughed workers and 40% of those working throughout the pandemic, were going to be looking for a new job as a result of pandemic and treatment from upper management throughout. These figures are boosted by a further 30-35% of candidates who are considering looking for new employment in the near future.

Whilst many of these are likely to be active candidates in the market, the official declaration of a recession has reduced candidate desires to change jobs. Due to this uncertainty many formerly active candidates have now become passive out of concern for job security, reducing the volume of potential candidates accessible without using a recruiter.

Should I tap into the passive candidate market?

As consultants we are here to advise, not sell to you. Your decision to use a recruiter should be an informed choice, however in our opinion if you are looking for a niche skillset or unique individual tapping into the passive candidate market can only serve to benefit you by broadening the range of potential talent available.

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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