The 3 different types of job-seekers

Passive, active, monitoring or seeking; there are many terms bandied about when it comes to candidates. But is there actually a difference between them all and how are these defined?

At SEEK, we classify candidates into three different behaviours that are linked to mind-set and their position in the job-seeking cycle: seeking, monitoring and settled.



These are the candidates actively searching for jobs to apply for and this group currently makes up 27% of the working population in Australia, according to recent SEEK research. Obviously, this group is the easiest to spot being those who are responding to job ads, proactively communicating with recruiters and HR departments, and searching job boards.

Accessing this group is the most intuitive out of the three. They tend to be actively participating in the job marketplace and most open to engaging in the application process. While you’re seeking them, they are most likely seeking you, making targeting strategies more focused on placement than enticement. However, some in this group tend to employ a ‘spray and pray’ approach with their CVs, making high numbers of applications and relevancy an issue.




These candidates define their job-seeking behaviour as not actively looking for jobs to apply for, but are rather keeping an eye on roles in their industry or market. This group makes up the lion share of the working population, comprising 46%.

This group offers the most opportunity for hirers, but can be difficult to identify. Increased use of profiling tools, such as SEEK Talent Search and social media, provides more visibility across the monitoring group as potential employers 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 skill set or experience, and the employment market is tight.




Unsurprisingly, settled candidates identify as those who are not doing anything to look for a new job. This group rounds out the remaining 28% of the working population, and almost half are aged between 45 and 64 years.

As well as defining where our working population are in the job-seeking cycle, SEEK has also researched and developed an algorithm that calculates approachability signals. Based on behavioural data, as well as tenure and industry, we are able to predict the likelihood of a candidate to be open to discussing career opportunities. Data is collated daily and attached to each candidate within SEEK Talent Search to determine those who are most likely to be approachable.

The benefit of the approachability signs is they allow us to signal to hirers those who are more likely to apply. In fact, our data shows that those candidates who have the approachability signal are five times more likely to apply for a job.

From the seekers to the settled, each job-seeking group has a distinct set of characteristics and the demographic make-up provides the opportunity to further tailor your candidate sourcing activity to be as effective and efficient as possible.