When speaking to clients about finding a suitable fit for their vacancies, many conversations that our consultants have inevitably turn to the candidate market: What is the candidate market like at the moment? Are there many people looking? What is the competition like? All of these questions are valid and important, but the key here is to define the difference between passive and active.

Defining “Active” Candidates

According to one of our consultants, a “passive” candidate is a professional who is happy to be kept aware of new opportunities on the market. They may have email alerts set up but, they are unlikely to be scouring job boards looking for their next career opportunity. An “active” candidate on the other hand, will definitely have email alerts set up with job boards and will regularly check in with recruiters to stay close to the market.

Why It’s an Important Distinction

As the economy has recovered from the “Great Recession,” we experienced an unprecedented swell of the “passive” market. People were relieved to be holding down a job and moving forward, and the dynamic of the market shifted. Recruiters were faced with a huge candidate shortage.

As time has passed, we have slowly but surely seen an increase in the number of professionals willing to move back into the active market. The volume of applicants to job listings has increased, as has the number of speculative calls looking for an insight into the job market. However, we have nowhere near the level of “active” candidates that we saw pre-recession.

The Benefits of Being “Active”

The critical role that the recruitment consultants play in this scenario is to provide the reassurance that candidates should feel confident the market. Consultants support them with the right opportunities to advance their careers. Then, instead of waiting for the right opportunity to come to them, they are actively chasing their next great position along with the help of experts in the market.

In many markets right now, the demand for talent far outweighs the supply of talented professionals. So, for those hard-working professionals looking for a job or considering a career change, the market is full of opportunities.

Actively chasing these opportunities could uncover the “hidden” job market (jobs that aren't posted online or advertised). The size of this market should not be underestimated, as again, demand hugely exceeds supply. Over the years, there have been numerous occasions where a client has created a role for an excellent candidate as they look to upskill their workforce. This can often happen when a client is presented with a resume which is far more experienced and skilled than required for the position, or after a more speculative introduction. The best way to tap into this market is to develop your relationship with reputable consultants, and own your role as an “active” candidate.

If you are interested in exploring your career options, please get in touch with one of our expert recruitment consultants. You can also submit your resume here, or apply to one of our open positions now.