Are you a recruiter?

Click here

Jobseeker Career Advice

Different Types of Job Seeker

Job seekers come in all shapes and sizes – school leavers, graduates, those looking for a change in direction, people made redundant, as well as workers who have been individually headhunted. How each person begins their job hunt is unique to them, but individuals from the various groups will follow similar paths depending on how serious they each take their pursuit for a new position. 


How the recruitment industry views each candidate is not based around their education and experience, but how they apply themselves to their own job search. Every individual is different, with a varying range of personality traits, natures and practices. There are various ways to deal with a situation and each person will implement a solution that best suits their character. Candidates are often classified into four distinct groups depending on the type of behaviour they demonstrate in their individual job hunts. These include passive, active, monitoring and seeking. So, what are the main differences between each behaviour and which group is likely to be most successful?


Passive Job Seeker

While these individuals make efforts to keep up-to-date with the most recent job offerings, they are not actively seeking out a new job. They do not apply for open positions and, for the most part, are not on their current employer’s radar for fishing out potential candidates who would be interested in a career move. For those who seem settled in their current role, their managers would be less likely to discuss new opportunities with them. However, passive job seekers can be offered a new position without having made an application themselves. For example, if you have explored the pool of jobs available online and uploaded your CV to a site, recruiters have the ability to search and find suitable candidates to fill their positions. It is rare for a passive job seeker to be contacted and informed about available roles, but it is possible.


Active Job Seeker

Active candidates are those who are currently searching for a new job. They go online to find advertised positions, they attend job fairs, they make contact with recruiters and HR managers, and they send out job applications. These individuals put in a great degree of hard work and dedication throughout the job search process, often planning in advance what they intend to do, scoping out job openings before they become available to the public, and forging relationships with hiring managers who could be useful in helping them to secure a new position. Active job seekers are committed to making their next step on the career ladder – they may wish to leave their current company, advance into a new industry, or simply progress in their chosen career path. Whatever the motive behind their decision, if they are spending time and effort on a dedicated job search, they are more likely to see results than a passive candidate. This is because a prospective employer will be able to identify their drive, determination, passion and enthusiasm in seeking out a new role, rather than merely waiting for news of a vacancy to come their way.


Monitoring Job Seeker

These candidates are defined by their job-seeking behaviour as they continually keep an eye out for roles in their industry. They are not actively looking for a new job, but when the right one comes up, they are ready to progress with an application. It is thought that the majority of the working population falls into this group. It can be tricky to identify monitoring job seekers because they may not want their manager to know they are looking to change roles and it can be years before they decide to become more active in their job hunt. However, increased use of social media and online tools provides greater visibility to potential employers, as they can search and seek this talent pool based on their digital footprint. Individuals in this group tend to be most valued when the role to be filled requires a specific skillset or experience, and the employment market is tight. They have more credibility in not applying for everything and anything they see.


Seeking Job Seeker   

Seeking job seekers are actively searching for jobs and send out a number of applications in doing so. This group is the easiest to spot because they continually respond to job adverts, they proactively communicate with recruiters and HR managers, and they regularly check job sites. They make no secret of the fact that they are looking for a new opportunity, with some individuals in this group preferring a ‘spray and pray’ approach. This means they send out their CV to a whole host of employers, make a high number of applications, and relevancy does not appear to be an issue. As a result, they may not necessarily find a role that is suited to all their individual requirements. 


Having reviewed the different kinds of job seeker, it is clear that those who have a set goal in line with their skills, experience and personality will be more likely to find a role that ticks their boxes. Evidently, those applicants who make minimal effort towards the job search process will be presented with fewer opportunities. However, as diligent as you are in your job applications, a more targeted approach is desirable. Employers are good at identifying individuals who appear to be disinterested or do not have the right credentials, so candidates who apply for everything and anything may not advance past the interview stage.