Did you know that most people are not looking for a job? A survey made by the US company, The Adler Group conducted together with LinkedIn, revealed that 83% of 4,550 people who participated in the survey, classified themselves as passive candidates. And here is the irony, HR departments (corporate recruiters) still spend most of their time trying to attract candidates from the remaining 17% and what we call the pool of active candidates.

Here is Tom’s Law on this subject (learned through 25 years of recruiting people):

“You cannot source and hire passive candidates who are not looking for a new job, in the same way you source and hire active candidates who are.”

     What really annoys me is the predominantly database recruiters who market themselves as headhunters, when what they do is simply shopping for resumes on the internet job boards. Resume shoppers and buzzword-matching paper-pushers would be a more appropriate designation, don’t you think?

When you engage a recruitment company for less than 25% fee and which is paid only if you hire a candidate, then all that happens is a search or shopping for resumes on the recruiter’s database. They may call two or three people they know in their network to check if they are looking for a new job, but that’s about it. If you are not satisfied with the resumes you receive, they have no where else to go for more resumes since they have exhausted their sources. Rather than telling you this, they will pretend to search for more whilst they take the next caller, hoping to turn around an inquiry quick enough before another contingency recruiters presents someone the client likes.

Think about it. If you only make money by presenting candidates who get hired by a client, and before such client may accept candidates from a competitor, it’s really a matter of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. It’s obvious that you get no contingency recruiting team to spend months after months on your search. The risk of working for a long time on a job, and then end up not being paid because you hired from somewhere else, is too high to make it a viable business model.