Active candidates: Here's everything you need to know

May 17, 2023

    active candidates

    What is an active candidate?

    In the world of job searching, candidates are often categorised as active or passive. An active candidate is actively looking for a new job opportunity, whether they are currently employed or not. They typically engage in job hunting activities online, such as browsing job boards, applying for job vacancies, and networking with potential employers.

     Active candidates come in various forms and may have different motivations for seeking new employment. Some may be dissatisfied with their current positions, while others could be searching for career advancement or a better work-life balance. Regardless of the reason, active candidates are usually more eager to engage with potential employers, making it easier for recruiters to identify and connect with them.

    Compared to passive candidates, who are not actively searching for a job but are open to opportunities, active candidates are proactive in finding their next career move.

    Understanding the characteristics of active candidates is essential for both job seekers and employers. For job seekers, knowing how to present oneself as an active candidate can lead to increased chances of finding the right job opportunity.

    For employers and recruiters, recognising active candidates can be an effective strategy for finding highly motivated and skilled talent.

    Benefits of targeting active candidates

    When hiring new employees, focusing on active candidates can offer several advantages. These individuals are actively seeking new opportunities, which can lead to a more efficient recruitment process and higher response rates.

    They have higher response rates

    Active candidates are usually more open to new job offers and more responsive to outreach messages from recruiters They are engaged in their job search, ensuring their profiles are up-to-date and applying to relevant positions. As a result, they are more likely to respond to job offers and inquiries.

    The recruitment process is easier

    Since active candidates are already in the job market, they are easier to identify and contact. You can find them through job fairs, online presence, or job ads . This streamlines the recruitment process, making it faster and more efficient as it helps hiring managers fill open positions quickly.

    They are more motivated

    As they're already in the process of looking for a job or a career change, active candidates usually express greater enthusiasm and are more willing to explore new opportunities and industries

    They are more likely to accept job offers

    Unlike passive candidates, who may be hesitant to leave their current position, active candidates are more likely to accept a job offer since they are actively seeking out new opportunities.

    Challenges of hiring active candidates

    Although active candidates are currently seeking employment, there are some challenges that recruiters may face when hiring them.


    Since active candidates are applying for multiple positions, there is a high level of competition among recruiters to attract top talent. This may require offering competitive salaries, benefits, and unique opportunities.

    Higher turnover risk

    With active job seekers, there might be a higher turnover risk. These candidates may continue to look for better opportunities even after being hired, resulting in a potential loss of talent and additional costs for the organisation.

    Shorter time frames

    Active candidates are often looking for a job as soon as possible, which means they may have a shorter timeline for making a decision.

    Lack of engagement

    Active candidates may be more focused on finding any job rather than the specific company or role they are applying for, which can lead to a lack of engagement and commitment to the job.

    How to effectively recruit active candidates

    Engaging passive candidates can bring valuable talent to your organization. These candidates are not actively searching for a job but may be open to new opportunities.

    Here are some ways to engage them for potential opportunities with your business:

    Effective recruitment strategies

    Using a proactive approach such as passive recruiting is important for identifying top talent. Employers can use methods like Boolean searches and social media to find and engage passive candidates.

    Build and nurture the relationship

    To successfully engage passive candidates, it's crucial to focus on building relationships. Passive recruiting involves nurturing a network of qualified, already-employed candidates that can be tapped into when job openings arise.

    Strategies for recruiting active candidates

    There are various tactics organisations can employ to attract active candidates.. This section discusses three key strategies: job advertisements, recruitment platforms, and social media marketing.

    Job advertisements

    A well-designed job advertisement is vital to reaching potential applicants. The ad should provide clear information about the position, such as responsibilities, requirements, and prerequisites. A compelling call-to-action at the end of the advertisement will also motivate candidates to apply.

    Recruitment platforms

    Companies should use recruitment platforms to significantly improve their hiring process for active candidates. Job portals like Airswift are popular resources for job seekers to find and apply for positions. Posting on these types of platforms will increase the visibility of job openings and broaden the applicant pool.

    Social media marketing

    Employing social media marketing for recruitment is an effective way to tap into wider pool of active candidates. Organisations can post job openings through their business accounts or in relevant professional groups, promoting interaction with potential applicants. An engaging social media presence can further enhance a company's employer brand, making it more attractive to candidates.

    An effective recruitment strategy involves finding a balance between active and passive candidates

    This ensures a diverse and efficient talent pipeline.

    Passive candidates are not actively searching for a new job, but may be open to considering new opportunities if approached. They can be a valuable addition to your talent pool as they bring diverse experiences and skill sets.

    Including both active and passive candidates in your recruitment process ensures a diverse and comprehensive pipeline of talent needed to support your organisation's needs.

    This post was written by: Leanna Seah, Content Manager