To be ghosted by talent? The four job seeker personalities recruiters need to know


In today’s competitive market, finding the best candidate for the job is no easy task. While we generally find more available talent in the pool, ensuring a high-quality candidate who is a perfect fit for the role increases the complexity of recruitment. Recruiters need to engage in conversations with candidates without knowing exactly what drives each candidate to seek a new role and how that motivation affects their prospects during the search process.

Defining a personality framework can help recruiters understand what motivates each candidate, what they are looking for in a new opportunity, and what tactics will keep them most engaged throughout the process.

Recent data from Employment shows that today’s job seekers can be divided into four groups based on a combination of two key characteristics:

  1. How consistently they search.
  2. The number of positions they are applying for.

These two traits interact in the following ways to create four main personality categories:

When recruiting teams understand these four personalities (and how to spot them), they are better prepared to understand candidates and empowered to personalize the candidate experience in a way that resonates with every person they speak to. . This often results in better job placements, faster hiring times, and more successful hires.

All About Diligent/High Volume Candidates

Diligent/high-volume candidates represent approximately 10% of the current market and are driven by economic and job market conditions. These candidates are mainly triggered by job posting alerts and will apply for a wide range of positions with various responsibilities and functions.


Diligent/high-volume job seekers tend to be optimistic, believing it will take them less than a month to find a job, and they apply for jobs with broad salary ranges. Additionally, this type of job seeker tends to gravitate toward positions in companies that offer strong leadership, opportunities for advancement, and resources for career development.


Diligent/high-volume job seekers will use social media, subscribe to job postings, and likely mention their searches during the interview process. As frequent CV updates, these candidates tend to start their job search within their current organization and will apply for jobs at other companies even if there are no vacancies. .

Engagement Tactics

These workers tend to appreciate simple and straightforward interview processes. These candidates are likely to abandon opportunities if they find them too time-consuming, so streamlining the interview and scheduling process is likely to impress.

All About Sporadic/High Volume Candidates

Approximately 25% of applicants in today’s job market are considered sporadic/high volume applicants. These are the people who turn to LinkedIn or other job boards after a particularly bad or frustrating day at their current job.


These candidates are generally satisfied with their current functions. They may be looking for organizations that tout career advancement opportunities. As a result, they tend to apply for multiple jobs that they have no intention of accepting. They are usually just starting their careers, have taken a new job within the past year, and are applying for jobs with wide pay scales. Like their Diligent/High-Volume counterparts, these job seekers frequently update their resumes and keep tabs on their company’s current financial situation.


Recruiters can identify sporadic/high volume job seekers through their application method. They regularly search for job openings and appreciate easy planning. If the interview went well, an offer was made, but the job seeker sends an impersonal response or even shuts down, a sporadic/high volume job seeker may have come across your way.

Engagement Tactics

To attract these candidates, avoid recruitment channels that require registration as part of the recruitment process. They are likely to drop applications that require registration items. While they’re likely to be happy with their current position, recruiters who think a sporadic/high-volume candidate is a perfect fit may catch their eye with an incredibly compelling offer, but must be prepared to negotiate and respond to demands of their current employer. .

All About Diligent/Selective Candidates

Diligent/selective job seekers are triggered by burnout, and about 40% of applicants fall into this category. With burnout being a trigger, they hesitate to apply for jobs they feel are unlikely to get and prefer efficient processes. They take their research seriously and conduct it over a long period of time.


Diligent/selective job seekers are not interested in applying for positions with wide salary ranges. They know what they are looking for and stick to those parameters. They are less inclined to seek new opportunities within their current organization and motivated by specific roles that they are passionate about.


Diligent/selective job seekers tend to stick to one application method: the company website. In addition, they are very prone to dropouts and prefer short and efficient recruitment processes.

Engagement Tactics

These candidates tend to target companies or positions that interest them. It is therefore extremely important to define the mission, vision and values โ€‹โ€‹of the company when meeting diligent/selective job seekers. Make highlighting these aspects of the company a priority early in the interview process and do your best to keep initial applications brief, but comprehensive.

All about sporadic/selective candidates

Sporadic/selective job seekers are triggered by boredom in their current situation and represent approximately 25% of current applicants. Like their Diligent/Selective counterparts, they are unlikely to submit applications to employers they deem unlikely to hire them.


These candidates tend to be later in their careers. They rarely apply for vacancies at their current company, don’t apply for jobs with broad pay scales, submit few applications for new positions, and don’t use social media to find vacancies.


Sporadic/selective applications from job seekers tend to favor brevity and their resumes tend to have outdated skills as they likely haven’t invested time in their own learning and development. Since they are primarily motivated by boredom and exploration, they are also hesitant to spend time on additional application materials, preferring to let their experience speak for itself.

Engagement Tactics

To engage these candidates, create highly personalized and simple recruiting experiences. They apply to see what’s available to them as they currently are, so if you think a sporadic/selective candidate is the ideal fit, it’s best to keep extraneous work to a minimum. They also strongly believe that the modern recruiting process is overkill. It is therefore essential that recruiters communicate their decisions or next steps as well as their reasoning throughout the process.

Preparing for success

In today’s market, recruiters need to go the extra mile to ensure success at every stage of the recruiting process. Using the four personas as a reference can help recruiters begin the process of tailoring their hiring strategies to the needs of a given candidate.

Finding talent is difficult and recruiters must arm themselves with tools to find quality candidates for open positions. While every candidate is unique, keeping the four personalities in mind throughout the process helps remind recruiters that hiring is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Understanding the four job search personas and their associated triggers helps recruiters deliver high-quality candidate experiences and close skills gaps faster and more successfully.

By Corey Berkey, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Employment Inc..


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