Passive Job Seekers have an Edge over Active Job Seekers

A research by Future Workplace, in conjunction with career network Beyond, conducted a sweeping survey of workers and HR pros that yielded some startling findings:

Passive job-seekers—that is, people who have jobs and are just keeping their options open—have a better chance at landing a job than unemployed active job-seekers. In fact, HR professionals surveyed preferred passive job-seekers by a wide margin, with 80% responding that passive job-seekers make good hires because they tend to have more experience, valuable skills, and a commitment to their careers. Something you may not immediately agree with, if you are an active job seeker. Unfortunately, that is the case with many employment practices across the globe. In Ghana, Nigeria and other African countries, this is not far from reality.

Passive job-seeking seems to be growing into a more popular trend. Among employees, only 4% said they were currently employed and not looking for work elsewhere, while a combined 42% said they were employed and either scoping out their other opportunities or leaving the door open to the possibility of a new job. This makes the competition for a job keener, and unfavourable for unemployed active job-seekers.

Safe Betting

The reasons for putting people who are already in employment ahead of others who are unemployed are very arguable. However, you would bet on having someone who is already performing a similar task in a corporate environment than taking a chance with a fresh pair of hands or a rusty one. Passive job-seekers are viewed as already having industry connections, familiar with corporate cultures, and sharp rather than blunt. It will also take a shorter time for a passive job-seeker to settle in his new role and a lower cost to train him or her.

Current Accomplishments

People who are already valued employees somewhere can point to their current performance and accomplishments as proof of their ability to be successful in an evolving marketplace. Being current is preferred to being rusty or having no experience in the current corporate environment or industry.

Passive Job-seekers’ View

Surprisingly, fewer than half the workers surveyed said they thought passive job-seekers had an advantage, and most underestimated the importance of establishing and cultivating a strong and broad network of contacts in the professional environment.

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