Jobseeker vs Candidate – What’s the difference?
Essential Recruiter Terminology

While many hiring managers and human resources may use the term “Applicants” and “Candidates” interchangeably, they have very different meanings in the recruiting world. You may also hear your recruiter use the terms “Talent” and “Passive Candidates.” When it comes to hiring, it’s essential to understand what these terms mean and why they are important.

Job Seeker

A job seeker is a person who is actively looking for a job.


A candidate is an individual who is being considered for a particular job opportunity.


Talent is an alternative term used for candidates or applicants.


A person who applies for a job, by sending in their resume, completing a job application form, or by other means.

Active Job Search

An individual who is actively engaged in looking for a new job is conducting an “Active Job Search.” They are spending time preparing their resume, compiling a list of target companies, searching for job openings, making connections, and submitting their resumes. This term can apply to both employed and unemployed job seekers. It is often used to juxtapose a “Passive Job Search” or “Passive Candidate”.

Passive candidate

A passive candidate is typically currently employed and not actively looking for a new job but would be open to a new job if the right job were presented to them. This person may be targeted for a specific position by a headhunter or a recruiter. They may also occasionally browse job search engines for potential new employment opportunities.