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What is the difference between passive and active employees?

When we scrolled through a certain LinkedIn survey of more than 18,000 full-time workers in 26 countries, we noticed something interesting. The authors constantly used the terms "active" and "passive employees" when referencing their different characteristics, thought processes and general attitudes toward their jobs.

The authors discussed these two separate groups in terms of their job satisfaction, motivation and passion.

This got us wondering how these employees differ and whether one is more attractive to employers – or in this case, households – than the other.

What are the differences between active and passive candidates?
Active and passive workers contrast in many ways – many more than we can name here. However, there are a few major differences, according to LinkedIn's survey.

For example, 52 percent of active employees are satisfied with their jobs compared to 80 percent of passive employees. Their motivations also differ. Typically, passive employees are motivated by higher wages and a more balanced work/life balance, while active ones strive for work environments that encourage growth and advancement. In general, passive employees are a bit more passionate about their work than active ones, although the survey doesn't indicate why.

However, we should point out this survey did not discuss "active" and "passive" in terms of the candidate's personality – an important consideration. For example, "active" employees were not more outgoing than "passive" ones. Simply, the authors broke down the two employee types in terms of their states of mind when it came to job searching and their approach to work.

Based on the survey results, it's obvious that candidates want different things out of their careers. The question you likely have now is: Which type of domestic worker should I hire?
Should you hire active or passive employees?

The question we probably should be asking is: Which type of employee is highly-skilled and in-demand? After all, we'll safely assume you want to hire someone who knows what they're doing. 

LinkedIn's survey fails to directly address this question, but an Indeed study conducted by The Polling Company provides a hint.

The poll indicated that years ago recruiters sought passive employees – ones that were happy in their positions and not likely to actively search for new work – because they believed these workers were highly skilled. Today the script has flipped. Eighty-five percent of in-demand, highly skilled workers are shopping their services. They are more active than ever before. 

What makes active candidates so desirable?
The survey found that 70 percent of higher ups and over 50 percent of recruiters believe that active workers have more motivation and drive, and therefore are more likely to succeed than passive ones. Other reasons noted: Passive employees didn't get along with management, failed to adapt to the culture or position and generally weren't a great fit.

What should your game plan be?
Hiring an active employee over one that is passive doesn't necessarily guarantee success. But it is helpful to know how workers differ and which way employee-hiring trends are moving.

The right employee will be one that initially meets your expectations. This could include someone who:

  • Has the skills to exceed your goals and requirements.
  • Can work well with others.
  • Will professionally develop in their role and help others do the same.
  • Think outside of the box.
  • And the list goes on.

Every employee is different, which makes it critical that you sit down with each and discuss everything from their subject expertise to aspirations, if that latter is appropriate. For example, if you have a large staff of domestic workers, there might be room for growth.

If you're interested in hiring domestic staffing professionals to complete domestic jobs around your home, talk to a domestic staffing agency. Contact Colonial Domestic Agency today!