Passive Recruiting: Why People Don’t Trust Corporate America

Office Worker Walks Past Parking Meter
flickr: mugley share alike.

“You know things are really bad when someone like [former General Electric CEO Jack] Welch, wrapped as he is in a cocoon of wealth and privilege, sees clearly that America’s workforce is fed up with how they are being treated by our business community,” says John Hollon, editor of Workforce Management.

And one of the ways corporate America is mistreating workers is by focusing only on recruiting passive candidates. The logic goes like this:
Only poor performers are ever laid off.
Ergo, anyone looking for a job is a poor performer.
Ergo, anyone who still has a job—when so many poor performers have been laid off—must be a great catch.

This, Hollon says, is not just shortsighted but “flat-out wrong.” Why? Click the jump to find out.


“With the national jobless rate at 9.5 percent, nearly 6.9 million collecting unemployment benefits and nearly a half-million more people put out of work in June alone, who in their right mind can think that there aren’t people worth hiring in those numbers?

“You are damaged goods if you were unfortunate enough to get laid off. Of course, this fails to recognize that corporate America has made wholesale layoffs an art form and has lopped off workers without regard to talent, skill or their contribution to the bottom line.”

It’s getting harder to lure passive candidates away, too. Who in their right mind—if they really were so good—would leave a good job for an uncertain one?

Hollon concludes:

Recruiting passive candidates while so many talented and highly productive workers are on the street looking for new employment is a shameful practice—bad for both the unemployed and for employers looking to hire. The recruiting “gurus” who continue to mindlessly advocate passive recruiting to clients in this labor environment are no better than the carnival barkers who lure you to pay for games where you have no chance of winning.