Akin to dating scenarios, we often want to land what is more challenging to acquire–what someone else has. And as such, poaching candidates from other companies is appealing to recruiters.
On the hunt for passive candidates, they seek out workers who appear to be contented in their current role. One of the attractive traits of a passive candidate is that they are actively generating value–that they are in demand by their current company.
However, because of recruiters’ predisposition to hunt for currently working people, a slew of candidates is often ignored. Rightsized, downsized, or otherwise laid-off workers often do not make it to recruiters’ radar. Similarly, unemployed candidates are often overlooked when HR and hiring managers sort resumes, because a presently employed candidate seems more vital.
Overcoming the predisposition to hire passive candidates
Many unemployed people simply were caught up in a corporate reorganization, laid off because of a duplication following a merger, or were rightsized/downsized amid some other initiative that had nothing to do with their individual performance. It is this talent capital that often gets overlooked; amid these pools of talent are performance and productivity engines that are already fueled and brimming with energy.
1. They are ready to go now
Passive candidates are generally obligated to their current companies, and at the very least, are obliged to provide a two-week notice–often more. They also may be in the middle of an important project or another initiative that can create a sense of obligation to finish out. Moreover, they may be driven to stay the course a bit longer at their current employer based on financial incentives, bonuses, etc.
On the flip side, an actively seeking and unencumbered candidate can be at-the-ready, often in a matter of a few days, to start work. They do not have to give notice or have other work obligations to conclude with a current employer.
2. They are enthusiastic
You may find yourself working hard to convince a passive candidate to come work for you. Their desire to change course from their current employer often is less than enthusiastic, if there is any interest at all. However, a candidate whose career suddenly was disrupted by a reorganization is probably eager to restart their career engine and become productive again. More than likely, they were not choosing to depart their contributory role, and thus aspire to become active members of a team again.
3. They are relieved and ready to partner with a better company
In some instances, where an organization was in turmoil and jettisoned employees amid that tumult, the displaced staff actually are relieved. In these instances, finding a new work home where the culture is more calming, the atmosphere more conducive to thoughtful work, and the overall feel more positive, is top of mind. Promoting these traits throughout the recruitment process will appeal to those newly displaced employees and create a win-win hiring scenario.
4. They are poised to selectively partner with the right boss
In those instances, where the layoff was due to a lack of fit between hiring manager and employee, the newly available talent may be JUST the fit for you. We all know that personality and skill alignment between the hiring decision maker and employee is integral to a successful, productive working relationship. Unfortunately, sometimes a misalignment happens, despite best interviewing and screening efforts.
An employee who has parted ways under such circumstances may avail their talent as a perfect fit for you. Moreover, the result of this candidate’s experience likely will compel them to be more inquisitive during the interview dating phase, spurring them to open up regarding their needs. This provides a genuine exchange, increasing the probability of an enduring relationship. Thus, the focus on fit is equally valuable to the hiring company.
5. They are ready to phase into a more consultative chapter of their career
In some instances, a company reorganization and/or downsizing may involve offering golden parachutes. In these instances, staff accepted early retirement packages that will enable them to be selective about next phases of their career. In other words, newly available talent, without the pressure of having to earn a specific salary, but armed with premium intellectual capital, have availed themselves. Many of these people are not looking for long-term commitments, but instead, seek to keep their skills sharp through temporary involvements.
Companies seeking out experts for short-term gigs, long-term contracts, masterfully trained talent for onsite consulting, and the like can garner deep value from such laid-off talent.
6. They are raw talent, awaiting development
In some scenarios, the candidate was downsized because of the last-in, first-out formula. They were the last one hired, so when cuts happened, they were the first one let go. It may be that they are new to the industry or to the job force altogether, and getting their foot in the door–and staying put–is a dream of theirs. You can be that company who swoops in and capitalizes on developing their raw talent, from the ground up.