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Most recruiters, managers and HR-employees believe that recruitment has a fixed start and finish. They believe that the finish is when you hired the right employee. I would, however, argue otherwise and say that recruitment does not stop after you found the right candidate.

In many HR related studies recruitment is a part of HR but stops once the right person is hired. From that point onwards the candidate transforms into an employee and enrols in a process which often is referred to as ‘talent management’. According to those studies, this is where recruitment stops. We believe that this conventional wisdom is somewhat outdated and that recruitment as a process that is not confined to finding the right talent for the job and does not stop after you hired the right candidate. In this blog we will show you the importance of exactly the people who you did not hire and what they can mean for you in the future.

Brand ambassadors, ambassadors, Recruitment, HR

The importance of candidates that you did not hire.


Firstly it is always important to remember that even though you did not hire a candidate, you have been in touch with them. These first interactions and impressions matter with those candidates, because you most likely will not get a second chance to redeem yourself. So from a branding point of view we might even say that the candidate experience of the candidates who did not get hired can be more important than the one of the candidates who do get hired, exactly because you do not get a chance to redeem yourself.

If you have a good candidate experience for the candidates that you did not hire, then you might even be able to create a positive experience with your company instead of a negative one. This will result in what we like to call ‘brand-ambassadors’. These ambassadors were unfortunately not hired by your company, but their positive experience overall does not make hostile towards your brand and chances are that they express themselves positively about your brand within their network. This contributes positively to your brand image and brand awareness.

Main takeaway: positive brand experience turns non-hired candidates in brand-ambassadors who spread the word about your company.

Talent Pool, Candidates, Recruitment, HR
Talent pool

The second and biggest point is that the candidates which you did not hire today, can be the candidate you are looking for tomorrow. We have experienced so many cases wherein somebody applies for a job, is not best fit for that specific job, but turns out to have the perfect profile for a job that comes up a couple of months later. That is why it is important to build up talent pools of candidates who you did not end up hiring. Your hiring needs change all the time and when they do, you want to have a pool ready of candidates who you already know and who already know you.

What is important here is again the candidate experience. Even if you did not end up to hire a candidate, make sure he or she feels appreciated and heard. You might even want to tell them that you would like to stay in touch because you believe something will open up in the future. When you are making these talent pools, make sure you nurture them as well. Send them reminders that you did not forget about them, perhaps inform them about cool new developments in your company or just wish them happy holidays (we in Sweden have quite a lot, so there should be plenty of opportunity to get in touch with your talent pool). Want to find out more about talent pools? Read this article.

Main takeaway: the candidate that you did not hire today might be your dream-candidate of tomorrow, so create and nurture your talent pool.

Networks, Networking, Expanding, Recruitment, HR, PeopleOps
Expanding networks

We all know it: cold-contacting somebody is the worst. Even hungry sales people in their early stage of their career prefer a warm lead over a cold one. Therefore it is important to understand that every candidate with whom you’ve been in contact, can provide an opportunity to expand your network of warm leads. If you are looking for new candidates, an easy way to find those warm leads is to go through the network connections of candidates with whom you have already been in contact with. Ask them for a referral and if you can mention their name when writing to the new leads. This lowers the barrier of cold contacting as you already have been in contact with somebody they know. Do bear in mind though that the role you are looking for should not align too much with what the referring candidate is looking for or you might offend him or her. Find out more about the problems and advantages with searching within your network here.

Again, the important thing here is that the referring candidates have had a positive experience with your company in the first place. Only then will you be able to get a referral and a chance to be able to mention their name in your first sourcing message.

Main takeaway: the candidate that you have not hired can provide you with a new network of candidates for other possible roles.

In conclusion

In this blog we have given you three examples of why the candidates which you have not hired matter for future recruitments. The red thread trough this blog is a positive candidate experience. A positive candidate experience opens up the doors for future ambassadors, new talent pools and expanded networks. Do you want to find out more on how you can create the perfect candidate experience? Click here to get in touch with us and to find out what we can do for your talent acquisition or read this blog for more information on candidate experience.

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