Engaging Active and Passive Job Seekers

Engaging Active and Passive Job Seekers

This first instalment from the 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index, on the topic, Engaging Active and Passive Job Seekers, examines the nature of the contemporary job search process from a candidate’s perspective. 

As well as those candidates that are openly looking for work, there are large numbers who are more covert in the way they approach the employment market. However, many employees have become disengaged from their work and this is adding to the challenge of identifying and enticing quality talent. 

In the digital world, it has become easier for enterprises to identify these hidden candidates and to connect with them in conversations about work and careers. 

The survey also looks at a wider range of non-financial factors that employees evaluate in any job choice decision and which for employers, can shift the balance in securing the best available talent.

The survey also showed:

  • Only 24% of UK employees are committed to their jobs, compared with as many as 45% in Denmark, 42% in Norway and 37% in Russia 
  • Only a third of employees feel valued by their employers, with a third feeling less loyal to their employers compared with last year.  
  • As a result, 67% plan to look for a job in the year ahead, with 44% frequently thinking about quitting.  
  • Nearly half are looking for new opportunities, even when they are happy in their jobs, and of these, as many as 72% will actively look for a job at least once a week. 

In terms of what they look for in a new employer, 81% are motivated by salary and benefits; however many do have strong ambitions for career progression, with training and development being important for 65% and opportunities for advancement key for 59%. Gen Y were particularly keen on training, with 71% stating this as a priority.

Interestingly half of those polled mentioned that the opportunity to work with colleagues from whom they could learn would help influence their employment decision, suggesting the importance of peer learning. 

When asked about the reasons for happy workers looking for other opportunities and what employers can do to prevent this, Katie Ivie, HR Director, Kelly Services said, 

“We’re seeing huge growth in appetite amongst employees for new jobs, challenges and opportunities – even when they are happy in their current jobs. Our KGWI data has shown us that while employees still see salary as being their number one priority in the job decision, training and development and learning opportunities are almost as equally important. Therefore, if their development needs are not quite satisfied internally, employees will be more open to external opportunities.


As a result, employers should be looking to improve their training and development offers, providing clear scope for progression for ambitious employees thereby helping to retain them in the long term. Key to this is offering staff the opportunity to learn new skills beyond their day to day role, helping to broaden their knowledge base whilst providing them with the chance to stretch themselves further.”


When searching and applying for jobs, 85% of employees are using digital applications. Despite the increase in online applications, only a third will use social media in their job search. In addition, only 15% of candidates have taken part in an employer’s online talent community, yet 33% would be interested in doing so if the opportunity arose. 



The Kelly Global Workforce Index

The Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) is an annual global survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace. Almost 230,000 people across the Americas; Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions responded to the 2014 survey. 

 The topics covered in the 2014 KGWI survey include: 

  •  Engaging Active and Passive Job Seekers 
  •  Career Development 
  •  The Candidate Experience from Hiring to On-boarding 
  •  Worker Preferences and Workplace Agility 

Workers from a total of 31 countries participated in the survey, responding in 20 different languages. Results span workplace generations, as well as key industries and occupations. 


Related Articles:

Career Development, Kelly Global Workforce Index 2014 

Global Trends that Shaped Job Choice, Recruitment and Workplace Performance

Career Development - Upskilling, Kelly Global Workforce Index 2013

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