7 years ago
February 21, 2017

Why You Should Try to Find, Hire, and Recruit Passive Candidates

Finding, recruiting, and hiring passive candidates might be more difficult and time consuming, but it’s definitely worth it. Here’s why.

Rhys Metler

Finding, recruiting, and hiring active candidates is easy. It’s so easy in fact, that these are the only candidates that most companies seek out. After all, these job seekers are actively looking for employment, they’re willingly sending you their resumes, and they’re practically begging for a chance at the job. And all you really have to do is write up a job description, post it on an online job site, and wait for the applications to roll in.

So then, why would you want to take more time, put in extra resources, and spend more money to persuade happily employed sales people to quit their current positions to come work for your organization? Why would you put in the extra effort to identify passive candidates, reach out to them, and slowly establish a relationship when so many active candidates are waving their hands trying to get your attention and trying to get hired by your company? Because it’s worth it. Seriously.

Who Is the Passive Candidate?

Passive candidates are already employed and not actively seeking out new job opportunities. They’re not on online job boards, they’re not networking to find work, and they’re not sending out resumes. However, they might consider a new job offer if a great one came along, especially in this job-hopping era we live in. But since they’re already set in their ways, established at their companies, and comfortable where they are, they’re not making the active effort to switch from a passive to active status.

Why Are They Desirable?

Though passive candidates are elusive, difficult to find, and difficult to recruit, they’re desirable because they’ve already proven that they’re valuable assets and likely have knowledge, experience, and skills that are important to other organizations. They’re employed because they’re good at what they do. Otherwise, they would have likely been fired by now.

In addition, because these candidates aren’t looking for work, they won’t be interviewing with tons of companies, which means less competition for you. Plus, they’re already happy where they are and they aren’t desperate for a job, so there’s a lower likelihood that they’ll lie on their resumes or stretch the truth just to sound more impressive. They have nothing to lose, so they have no reason to lie.

Passive candidates are happier in their jobs, more loyal, and often more successful. When you find, hire, and recruit passive candidates, your chances increase that you’ll be hiring long-term quality candidates.

The Turnover in Sales Is High

Sales is a tough field to succeed in and turnover is over 40% per year in the industry. Just look at the facts: there are more than 22 million sales people in North American, yet a huge portion, 40%, will miss quota, another 22% will be untrainable, and only 10% will provide a return on investment. The odds aren’t in your favour when it comes to hiring successful sales people. The majority of sales people just can’t cut it.

And when the cost of a sales hiring mistake can be six to ten times a sales rep’s salary, you just can’t keep hiring bad sales professionals who don’t deliver just because it’s more convenient to pursue active candidates. It’s too expensive.

Instead of having a revolving door of sales people in your organization because you’re hiring active candidates that are unemployed in the field for a reason, it makes more sense to put in the extra effort to recruit passive candidates who are still employed—because they deliver results. When you take the time and invest in recruiting these higher quality candidates, your entire organization benefits. You’ll get increased revenue and improved profitability because you’ll have a strong and loyal sales team working for you.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.