Passive and Active career seekers represent two distinct mindsets in the job market. Understanding these differences is crucial for clients to run a successful recruitment campaign. It is key to know in which candidate pools you are most likely to find your new employee and choose a strategy that targets the right candidate pool. 

Ntice offers recruitment services that cater to both types of career seekers – active career seekers and passive career seekers.  

As a client the rule of thumb when selecting a recruitment service is to ask yourself if the skill, I am recruiting for is in short supply and quite niche or are there lots of candidates in the market with this skill? If there are a lot of people in the market with the skill you are looking for, then a job board advertising campaign will fill the role quickly and cost effectively. However, should your skill be in short supply and be very niche then a more proactive search approach focusing on passive career seekers is the better option.  

Active Career Seekers 

Active career seekers are actively searching for new job opportunities. They are proactive in their approach to career advancement and are constantly on the lookout for openings on job boards that align with their skills, interests, and career goals. They may be working or may have left their current organisations for several reasons.  

Here are some key points for clients or individuals looking to hire to acknowledge, understand, and know about active career seekers: 

Proactivity: Active career seekers take the initiative in their job search. They regularly update their CVs, scour job board advertising sites, attend networking events, and actively reach out to recruiters or potential employers. Acknowledging their proactive approach can help you understand their dedication to finding the right opportunity. 

Motivation: These individuals tend to fall into two categories of motivations which can be both good and bad.  

Positive: Often motivated by specific career goals or a desire for professional growth. They may be seeking new challenges, better compensation, career advancement opportunities, or a more supportive work environment.  

Negative: They may be looking for work as they are not performing in their current role and may need to move before they are pushed out of their current job.  

Understanding active career seekers motivations for making a move is vital for companies looking to hire within the active career seeker pool. Most companies want to hire the best in the market, and you need to be careful in how you assess active career seekers to ensure you hire someone who is moving for the right reason.  

Engagement: Active career seekers are typically more responsive to recruitment efforts and job offers. It is essential to maintain timely communication and follow-up throughout the recruitment process to keep these candidates engaged and interested. They are usually exploring multiple opportunities and are keen to make a career move quickly.  

Competition Awareness: Since active seekers are actively applying for multiple roles, clients should be aware of the competitive landscape. This may require streamlining the recruitment process, simplifying your recruitment interview process (1 interview vs 3 interviews and an assessment), speeding up your decision-making process and selling the company to the candidates at the interview stage, offering good explanations of your competitive compensation and benefits and highlighting unique selling points of the role or company to stand out among other employers. 

Opportunity for Growth: Active seekers represent a pool of candidates eager for growth and advancement. You can leverage this by offering clear career progression paths, professional development opportunities, and a supportive work culture to attract and retain top talent. 

At Ntice if we believe your role can be filled with an active career seeker, we will offer our clients one of our cost saving recruitment solutions. Our cost-saving recruitment solutions are all centered around a candidate attraction solution we have developed. As there is no search component in finding your ideal candidate, we charge a much smaller fee for this service offered. The fee is fixed and is not based on a percentage of the candidates’ salary offered. Our clients can literally knock off about 80% of the fee they would have paid a traditional contingent recruiter. 

Passive Career Seekers 

Passive career seekers are a unique subset of professionals who are not actively seeking new job opportunities but are open to considering them if the right offer comes along. These individuals are often already employed and may be content in their current roles, not actively engaging in job searches or networking activities. However, they possess valuable skills, experience, and expertise that make them highly desirable candidates for potential employers. 

If you are looking to hire, you should acknowledge and understand several key aspects about passive career seekers: 

Value Proposition: Passive seekers typically have established careers and possess niche or highly valuable skills and experience. They tend to have longer lengths of employment and are considered high performers in their field. They are on higher salaries as they are proven within their fields and are being well looked after by their current company. Generally, their current company will not want to lose them, and should they receive a job offer from another company, it will counter-offer them and try hard to convince them not to leave. Recognising their potential contributions to an organisation can help clients understand the benefits of targeting these candidates. 

Approach: Traditional recruitment methods such as job board advertising will not effectively reach passive seekers. Instead, you must adopt a more proactive approach, such as engaging in targeted headhunting to identify and connect with these individuals. At Ntice, we offer a cost-saving fixed cost search solution called Explore, which taps directly into the passive career seeker pool.  

Personalisation: Passive seekers will not respond to generic job offers. Approaches must be tailored and need to a line with passive career seekers industry specialization, career aspirations and salary expectations. It is vital that whoever is steering your headhunting campaign understands the role, where to find the passive career seekers with the skills you are looking for and how to position the role to the passive career seeker in order to gain their interest to make a move. You must sell the job to a passive career seeker- after all they did not come to you, you came to them, and you need to Ntice them to make a move. 

Long-Term Perspective: Building relationships with a recruitment partner who focuses on the passive career seeker market will add huge value to your bottom line. The Ntice consultants have spent years cultivating relationships with passive career seekers, we know exactly what it will take to pique their interest and what sort of opportunities they are looking for. Put the right opportunity in front of a passive career seeker and they will make the move. It can take several years to move a passive career seeker with a very niche or highly regarded skill, they will not just move for any role. They are hard to find and hard to move. However, these are the career seekers that you want to hire. 

Competitive Advantage: Since passive seekers are not actively pursuing opportunities, they may be less exposed to competing job offers. Clients who successfully engage with passive candidates may have a competitive advantage in attracting top talent. 

Ntice offers a fixed cost search solution as well as a traditional executive search offer. Our clients can choose between our two search solutions based on their unique requirements, budget, and in-house recruitment capabilities. Our fixed cost search offering is known as Explore and this is where the Ntice teams manages the talent mapping part of a search campaign. The data is then handed over to an in-house team to complete, and savings can be made; however, you must have the in-house capabilities to finish off the campaign to completion.  

Whilst our all singing and dancing search solution covers all the bases of an executive search campaign with the added bonus of a 1-year extended guarantee.  


Understanding the nuances of both active and passive career seekers is essential when embarking on a recruitment campaign. Working with the wrong recruitment partner can cost you a lot of money. We offer our clients the opportunity to save money where possible and spend the money wisely when you need to attract a passive career seeker. Recruitment is not a one size fits all, you need to change your strategy according to the pool you are fishing within. Ntice is all about linking great people to great companies.  

By embracing these insights, clients can effectively navigate the recruitment landscape and secure the best talent for their organisations. 

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