Contrary to popular belief, there’s very little difference between so-called active and passive candidates. For today’s candidates, the job search process is constantly “on,” with 74 percent of workers either actively searching for a new job or open to a new opportunity.

Moreover, job search behavior is increasingly similar to consumer buying behavior, with candidates utilizing digital resources to help them with their “purchasing” decisions. As discussed in Google’s “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth” (ZMOT) study, technology has changed the way people research prospective purchases and make decisions for everything from buying a car, to evaluating a business vendor, to looking for a new job.

A new job is essentially one of the biggest purchases a person can make in his or her lifetime, so people begin researching employers and opportunities early to ensure they do not ultimately have buyer’s remorse. In other words, long before candidates even step through a potential employer’s doors, they’ve already engaged with that employer in some way to find out about its reputation as an employer – much the same way consumers research potential purchases before even going to the store.