Considerations of Passive Candidates for Job Change

  By Frank Burtnett  |    Monday February 27, 2023

Category: Education, Expert Advice


EMinfo Reader: Recruiters often find themselves facing passive candidates for job change and apprehensive with whether or not their circumstances warrant consideration of other opportunities that would require a position change. Do you have any guidance on how this individual might be approached?

Dr. Burtnett: Individuals in every career sector and at every level of employment regularly have to answer the “is the grass greener on the other side” question periodically. Whether they consider such mobility options and succumb to the temptation and become an active candidate for job change will likely hinge on the answers to the following seven questions:

1.   To what extent is the individual satisfactory engaged in and satisfied with their present position?

2.   Has that engagement created a security and comfort level that the individual would risk in order to relocate to another position?

3.   Would the position under consideration afford them a similar or enhanced level of work-life balance?

4.   Will the new position offer improved or equal compensation and benefit levels?

5.   Would such a change represent a vertical action (up the career ladder) or a parallel action within the individual’s overall career development plan?

6.   Does the target position offer career growth and development opportunities not present in their current work?

7.   To what extent would the life and career of the individual be interrupted (i.e., relocation, onboarding, etc.) in order to accept a new position.

This challenge is one that goes beyond knowledge, skillset, and competence issues. It has emotional, social, values and lifestyle preference implications that must be assessed thoroughly as the assessment of any “grass is greener” temptations are considered.

Dr. Frank Burtnett has spent his lengthy career working with educational and career development initiatives engaged in the design and delivery of programs and services that bring maximum career success and satisfaction to individuals from across the life-span. He has been a counselor, consultant, college professor, and non-profit organization executive. 

His academic preparation has resulted in being awarded the Master of Arts and Doctor of Education degrees in counseling by the George Washington University (DC) and the Bachelor of Science Degree by Shippensburg University (PA). Frank is a Registered Counselor (RC478) in the state of Maine and has earned the National Certified Counselor (NCC) and National Certified Career Counselor (NCCC) credentials of the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), as well as the Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC), the Certified Temporary Staffing-Specialist (CTS) and Certified Employment Retention Specialist (CERS) credentials of the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS). Further, he served as the NAPS certification and education consultant from 1994 to 2021. Readers may direct questions to him at 


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