Passive candidates are quite different than active candidates. Active candidates are either unemployed and looking for a job, or currently employed and actively seeking new opportunities. Passive candidates, on the other hand, are currently employed and happy in their position. They are often highly productive and highly valued by their employer. These candidates are not spending time perusing job postings, and probably haven’t updated their resumes in quite some time.
Just because they are not actively looking for a new position, does not mean that passive candidates are impossible to recruit. In order to get in front of these high producers, recruiters and hiring managers must be prepared to put in a little bit of extra legwork. These candidates know that they are actually the “buyer” in the equation, and the employer is the “seller.” Hunting for passive candidates is like searching for the largest fish in the pond. It takes a special approach that can be difficult to master. Therefore, many hiring managers abandon their search for passive candidates, limiting themselves to unemployed job seekers and employed lookers. However, abandoning a strategy to recruit passive candidates can mean missing out on some seriously high-performing sales talent.
The Benefits of Recruiting Passive Candidates
Going after happily employed sales professionals may seem like an exercise in futility, but it can pay long-term dividends for employers. An employee who is happily employed will think long and hard about accepting a job offer. They will likely spend time contemplating more than just the compensation package, but also whether or not the job truly aligns with their skills, talents, and work style. When they say “yes,” it typically means they will be happy and satisfied in their new position, and will be likely to stay for a long time.
Because they are not operating from a feeling of desperation, passive sales candidates also have very little reason to exaggerate their qualifications, hide their potential weaknesses, or understate their expectations. They are more likely to “lay it all out on the table,” letting you know precisely who they are as a professional, what they bring to the table, and what they expect from a prospective employer.
“No” Often Means “Not Now”
Recruiting passive candidates is a marathon, not a sprint. After speaking with a passive candidate, he or she may determine that your position isn’t right for them. In many cases, however, “no” often means “not now.” Circumstances always change, and if you are able to maintain ongoing contact with passive candidates, they may reach out to you when they decide that they are ready to seek new opportunities.
The Art of Recruiting Passive Candidates
It takes a great deal of time, effort, and practice to recruit passive candidates. Partnering with a professional recruiting firm can often be a great way to build a pipeline of passive talent, helping your enterprise software sales company build a deep bench to draw from today, tomorrow, and in the future. If you are looking to develop a pipeline of passive sales candidates, specifically in the enterprise software sales industry, talk to the team at Strategic Search Solutions. As a nationally recognized niche recruiting firm, we have developed a proven process for attracting, hiring, and retaining a strong core of enterprise software sales professionals. For more information on how we can help your organization build a stronger sales team, contact us today.