May 30, 2024

Navigating The Hiring Marketplace - Why Hiring Recently Laid-Off Employees Might Not Be the Best Option


Brian Schoch and Bob Berry

If you are a VP of Sales, you might be excited to ramp up your team and bust out the company goal you are carrying. To buy time, you want to partner with a recruiting firm, but the CEO wants you to see what's available in the hiring marketplace due to all the tech layoffs over the past three months. 

What do you do now? To get the CEO on board, give them a plan. You have a hiring plan, right? If not, then you need to create one. Why? Because having a hiring plan will help you determine what positions you need to fill and when they should be filled. A hiring plan will help you understand the current state of your sales team (their strengths, weaknesses, and gaps), which can inform how many people are needed at each level of sales.

There is an illusion that some companies think they can save money by looking for recently laid-off people as a source for new hires, but this approach is often unsuccessful. Why? In a layoff, companies typically let the bottom 10% of their departments go, April 10, 2023 page 2 photo Miguel Á. Padriñánpage 1 photo Photo by Andre Furtado and often the bottom 20-30%. This means that the people whom you might be considering for positions are not those who were performing at or above expectations.

For sales positions, would you want to scale your sales team with lower-tier performers?  

Of course not; the best candidates are the ones who are not looking and are generally happy where they are until approached by someone who shares an opportunity with them that can get them excited about a new situation that can be a game changer for him/her personally. 

They can easily see that the vertical or territory they have been successful in over the past several years can bring them new growth opportunities both personally and professionally.  These "Passive" candidates who are not looking are the best ones to bring into your company. They are not looking, their resume is not on the job boards, and they are busy being successful.

So when "Time Is The Enemy," make sure you are working on a plan with the CEO that creates their buy-in and understanding of what it takes to attract the passive candidates and top performers. Also, make sure you have a plan of how to communicate with key stakeholders and influencers so they know what is happening.  

We have seen this work before, and it can work for you.