The longer they’re on the market, the more desperate downsized candidates become. As a result, they tend to be open to positions with lower base salaries and commissions and even less accountability – things they wouldn’t think twice about in more stable economic times.
While hiring managers may be tempted to snag a top-level sales professional at an entry level price, it is a decision that will come back to haunt when things return to normal. These candidates may be sincere in their desire to join a company and more likely than not to achieve sales goals, but they are also flight risks. As soon as the economy bounces back, so will their confidence, career goals, compensation expectations and everything else they sacrificed for the sake of feeding their families and paying their mortgages in today’s harsh economic climate.
Typically, desperate job search behaviors begin to emerge when candidates have been out of work for six months or longer. This is when many start feeling the financial heat. They begin “diversifying” their search and are happy to settle for less in exchange for a steady income. While they may not admit it to even themselves, these make-due positions are almost always temporary.
I am not saying that what desperate candidates are doing is bad. They are simply doing what is necessary to survive.
I am saying that hiring managers need to be aware of this trend. Don’t take every candidate at face value. Be objective and analyze their motivations for considering a position that is clearly beneath their skills and experience.
This allows you to gain a clear understanding of the candidate’s long-term prospects and lets you make the final decision based on who is best for the company rather than who is most in need of the job.