Study: Passive Job Seekers Outnumber Actives, And Radio Reaches 80% of Both.


Passive job seekers outnumber actives four to one, and AM/FM reaches eight out of ten of either group, according to the results of a MARU/Matchbox study commissioned by Cumulus Media and highlighted in this week's Westwood One “Everyone's Listening” blog. The survey, focused on changes in the labor market since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, was conducted in February among nearly 1,000 respondents.


According to the blog, the latest Federal Reserve data shows a 4.9% job opening growth rate, exceeding pre-pandemic levels as U.S. unemployment continues to fall, suggesting companies should start recruiting new employees and reaching passive job seekers should be a priority. The MARU/Matchbox results show passive job seekers remain the largest source of new workers, based on 49% of survey respondents saying they are either “not actively looking for a new job” or “definitely willing to consider a new job,” matching findings from an April 2018 study. At the same time, active job seekers have declined from 15% to 12%, meaning passives outnumber actives by a greater than four-to-one margin.


A key finding among passives is that they are more likely to find out about new jobs through personal contact with friends, family or former co-workers, as opposed to online job sites such as Indeed and LinkedIn, both of which have a far higher level of recognition and usage than other competing sites. “Companies who solely rely on online job sites to recruit new hires are missing out on a gigantic portion of the candidate pool that is four times larger than active job seekers,” Cumulus Media Insights Manager Brittany Faison says. “Adding over-the-air AM/FM radio, AM/FM streaming and podcasts to the recruitment media plan can help secure these hard-to-reach candidates.”


In fact, according to the MARU/Matchbox study, AM/FM radio reaches over 83% of passive and 81% of active job seekers, while 39% of passives and half of actives listen to streaming AM/FM. Podcasts also figure in significantly, listened to by one-third of passive and 38% of active job seekers. The most popular radio formats among passive and active job seekers are Rock, Classic Rock and Oldies/Classic Hits, with Adult Contemporary, News/Talk and Top 40 showing up at a higher rate among actives.

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