You hear it all the time in recruitment – “the passive job seeker is of great importance” and that they are in as much demand by businesses as the people who are actively looking for a job. The benefits to hand-picking and recruiting a passive jobseeker are endless for many reasons. The knowledge they can bring to a company is second to none, they will already have the valued experience that you are looking for and, they will be open to new opportunities to develop themselves as they’re already in career mode. But the icing on the cake would have to be that a firm can attract the passive job seeker oblivious to competitors and gain an advantage over them. So why isn’t everyone just turning their back on job boards and opting to poach employees from companies?
Think about it, after months of finding the right passive job seeker – approaching them, building a rapport with them and staying on their radar – you now need to ‘pop the question’ (as it were), and offer them a job opportunity with your firm. It is at this point that all the power is in the passive candidate’s hands, and you’ll soon find out whether your efforts have either paid off, or not. But, if they do decide to leave their current job, the time, money and resources that have been invested into the recruitment campaign will need to be evaluated.
Now here’s my qualm with the whole passive job seeking theory. Recruiters want to simply tick two boxes; quick recruitment and hiring the best possible person for the job. Convincing a passive job seeker to leave their current role at a company and join yours will inevitably drain on resources; resources and efforts that could just as easily be applied to attracting a selection of appropriate candidates available to start straight away rather than one ‘maybe’.
The long game is essentially too long and not a game that business minds should be opting to play without at least considering the downside of passive recruitment. Employers should be reactive to job openings – not act with the hope that a candidate may want to work for them.
But you know what they say, if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is; and unfortunately, this might be one of those times. Recruiting the passive job seeker seems like it could work in theory, but in reality, I don’t think it’s that simple. Call it playing devil’s advocate or call it being sceptical, but I just don’t think that this type of job hunter needs to be…well… hunted.