Are Passive Candidates Upset When Contacted at Work?

It’s a candidates’ market. That means a lot of things. One of them is that recruiters contact passive candidates at work. A lot.

These candidates’ reaction to being contacted at work can vary, as you well know. One of the ways they react is by being upset. That’s always been the case.

But how often is that the case? That’s a great question. In fact, it’s so great that we decided to pose it to the Top Echelon Network membership in the form of a poll question:

How often are passive candidates upset when you contact them at work?

The choice of answers that we provided is listed below, along with the percentage of split network recruiters that selected each one:

  • Never — 23.5%
  • Infrequently — 48.0%
  • About half the time — 11.8%
  • Most of the time — 8.8%
  • Always — 0.0%
  • I never contact candidates at work. — 7.8%

Degrees of being upset

Recruiting passive candidates is not easy. After all, these people aren’t even looking for a new job. That’s why they’re passive. Not only that, but they’re leery about being contacted at work. They don’t want anybody to find out that they’ve been talking with a recruiter. And talking with them at work, no less.

However, it would seem as though they’re NOT upset in the vast majority of cases. Let’s go to the numbers, shall we?

Almost a quarter of poll participants (23.5%) indicated that passive candidates are “Never” upset. Another 48% chose “Infrequently” as their answer. That’s a combined 71.5% of recruiters who say that passive candidates are upset infrequently at the MOST.

In addition, 11.8% are of the opinion that passive candidates are upset “About half the time.” Another 8.8% chose “About half the time” as their answer. And interestingly, 7.8% “never contact candidates at work.” They must email the candidates if they don’t have the candidates’ home or mobile phone numbers.

Fortunately, passive candidates seem to have a firm grasp on the situation. They know that they’re a “hot commodity.” They expect recruiter phone calls, even at work.

In other words, they know that the time they should be upset and worried is when they no longer receive those phone calls.

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