Cultivate your own stars instead of pinching others

by Stephanie Zillman29 Oct 2013

It may be an unwelcome truth, but right now, your star employees are being courted by the competition – and if you’re relying on the so-called passive candidate pool to fill your vacancies, so too is your entire industry or profession.

Talent poaching has always been a card in HR’s back pocket. However, with the advent of LinkedIn and other social mediums, the face of recruitment has been changed forever. Seeking passive jobseekers for new hires is, in effect, poaching on a grand scale, and it’s a notion backed by many in the industry. “The best talent sources are already employed and successful,” Steve Barham from Talent Pipeline told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Yet other employment experts are warning that in the face of “social recruitment”, retention is an obvious casualty, and in fact, the trend in looking to employed candidates over unemployed candidates may be putting your entire talent pool up for grabs.

While typically the HR trend to hire the already employed is followed but not spoken, mobile phone manufacturer Sony Ericsson made the policy explicit in its recruitment policy – the unemployed are simply ruled out. What’s more, according to a poll of senior HR executives in the US, some 90% said recruiting passive candidates is central to the HR strategy.

According to Jerome Ternyck from SmartRecruiters, there appears to be an unwritten rule that unemployed candidates aren’t qualified. “Our survey revealed that 55% of recruiters and HR managers have ‘personally experienced resistance’ when presenting qualified yet unemployed candidates to clients/colleagues,” Ternyck said. The survey also showed that 29% of hiring managers believed that unemployed job seekers are “unemployed for a reason” and 23% said unemployed job seekers are “probably not qualified”.

Owner and director of Benz Communications, Isabelle Englund-Geiger, said she interviews unemployed candidates for every available position. “Discarding currently-unemployed candidates is very short-sighted. If we didn’t equally evaluate unemployed candidates, we would have missed out on many of our most successful hires, including our office manager, a senior-level bi-lingual writer and some of our top consultants,” Englund-Geiger said.


  • by Erica Collins 8/05/2012 5:52:17 PM

    Not only are is it short sighted to disregarding currently-unemployed candidates in this climate of a tight employment market and wide spread retrenchments, currently employed candidates, also have their reasons for looking for work somewhere else; maybe they are avoiding performance management or have some other issue. It is likely you will need to do less to attract and engage some one who is unemployed and that they will be more keen to impress your with their work.

Most Read