Taking the time to consider your rejected candidates’ experience can be rewarding on several fronts.
Brand damage is something every company should be concerned about. While you’re focused on creating brand positivity through exceptional customer service and amazing product offerings, have you given any thought to your rejected candidates? Job seekers put a lot of time and energy into applying and interviewing for open positions, so it’s a smart business move to ensure their experience with your organization is a positive one. Consider these revealing statistics from The Human Capital Institute:
- 60% of job seekers surveyed have had a negative candidate experience
- 72% of those respondents said they shared their negative experiences online
- 55% of those surveyed say they avoid companies that have negative online reviews
Beyond preserving your brand reputation, there’s another factor at work. Often, some fantastic candidates come through the door but the timing isn’t right or the position has already been filled. Don’t let that precious talent go to waste.
Here are six tips for turning your rejected candidates into a pipeline of future talent.
1. Reply to every applicant and do it in a timely manner.
A recent Web Recruit survey found that most job seekers expect an acknowledgment of their application within three days and a status regarding acceptance to the next step or rejection within five days. While turnaround times like these may not be realistic for every organization, it shows that responsiveness matters. If you want to deliver a strong candidate experience, make it a point to acknowledge every applicant within a few days of receipt of their resume or application.
2. Offer to share development feedback.
Not every job seeker will take you up on the offer but those who do will appreciate the advice and are more likely to speak highly of your company. Your specific feedback may also act as a catalyst for them to develop into a suitable candidate for your organization in the future. It’s important that you give careful thought to the comments you offer and how you share them, as the candidate may or not be as open to feedback as they seem. They could also be interpreted in a manner that could get you in trouble. For example, telling woman to smile more could be construed as something other than you intended and will almost always be interpreted negatively.
3. Ask for their feedback, as well.
When you ask candidates to provide feedback on their experience with your organization, it shows that your company cares about people and wants to build relationships. You might ask them to share their thoughts over email, send out a brief survey, or suggest they leave a review on Glassdoor or Indeed. Be sure to thank everyone who responds.
4. Segment rejected candidates and keep a separate list for those in the ‘top tier’.
Did you encounter skilled candidates who barely missed the mark and likely could have done the job? Or perhaps you had to turn them down because there was only one open position and it was already filled? Note these high performers as ‘top tier’ candidates and keep them on a special list that you can refer to when you’re recruiting for the same or a similar role again. Let them know that they are among the top tier candidates and that you will be seriously considering them for future opportunities when they arise.
5. Keep a ‘future potential’ list, too.
Sometimes talent is a little green or raw but clearly has potential. For those candidates who fell a bit short but with some time and personal development may be right for the role, record them in your ‘future potential’ list. And be sure to communicate your interest to them.
6. Connect with and follow them on social media.
Seek out your top tier and future potential folks on LinkedIn. That way you can track their career path and progress, such as new skills acquired, promotions, or company changes. You can also keep them informed of events like upcoming career fairs or conferences. This gives you access to a potential stream of viable talent with whom you have a prior relationship so you can easily approach them as employment opportunities become available.
Rejected candidates could become a valuable asset to your business in the future so it’s wise to develop a process to support this effort. Fostering long-term relationships with talented employment prospects will leave them with a lasting positive impression and enhance your company’s reputation, too. Rejected candidates often realize they are the wrong fit but if they feel good about you and your company, it may even lead to them referring just the right person for the job.
Being respectful to all candidates and retaining your impeccable employer brand is always a good move. If you need more information about building a rejected candidate talent stream or are seeking to improve your overall recruitment process, The HR Team is here to offer valuable strategic guidance. Please contact us to learn more.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.