Survey Reveals How to Attract Passive Candidates

Sep 1, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 11.37.38 AMThe Holy Grail in recruiting has always been the passive candidate: someone not actively searching for a job.

A LinkedIn survey of 18,000 full-time employees across all industries and 26 countries found what attracts these people. The results aren’t particularly shocking: passive candidates want more money. Either that, or they want a better work/life balance or a greater opportunity for advancement.

But the survey revealed more than just that. It also showed the surprising number of workers who consider themselves passive candidates, what active applicants want, and what motivates people to change jobs the least.

The Numbers

The survey showed that one in four full-time employees considered themselves active candidates who were searching for a new job at least a few times a week. These people were most motivated to switch jobs for a position that offered a greater opportunity to grow, better compensation and benefits, or more challenging work, respectively.

However, a much larger percentage of employees consider themselves passive candidates. Overall, 85 percent of employees surveyed said they would be willing to talk with a recruiter, with only 15 percent of respondents saying they were completely satisfied with their work and wouldn’t change jobs.

This is somewhat surprising considering the number of people who said they liked their jobs. Overall, 72 percent of respondents said they were at least somewhat satisfied with their job, with only 14 percent saying that they were at least somewhat unsatisfied.

Additionally, the survey looked at what motivated people the least to change jobs. Both active and passive candidates agreed that an improved job title or a better office location are the two least important factors in seeking or considering a new job.

The Takeaway

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the survey is that most people would be willing to change jobs for the right opportunity, and for them that means more money or a better work/life balance. However, many active candidates — 25 percent of the workforce — would be willing to take the same salary if they feel like the new job would give them a better opportunity to grow.

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