What are you doing when a candidate’s bubble bursts?

The NCAA tournament is gloriously upon us and like every year there are teams that watched their team’s bubble burst on Selection Sunday (unfortunately including my alma-mater Boston College).  While their resumes were all good enough to make the tournament (and some think better than some teams that made it), the selection committee had to turn them away as they could ONLY select 68 teams.  Now the bubble bursting teams search for the next opportunity and move on to play the NIT as a consolation prize.


The process above should sound familiar to your recruiting organization.  For every job distribution campaign you run, you receive a number of qualified candidates that fit the position.  You interview most of these candidates and in the end can only select a limited few to become employees at your company.  The real question is what are you doing with the qualified candidates that were qualified and so close to receiving an offer but ultimately had their bubble burst on your company’s “Selection Sunday”?


These candidates will definitely have options with other companies, however, you should try your best to keep in touch with them as they are great contacts to have in your Talent Network.   These candidates are not only interested in your company but are also qualified for the specific position you were recruiting for.  If you recruit for this type of position on a somewhat consistent basis, these candidates present a great opportunity to fill this position not only quickly but with a person that you already know is qualified.  Re-connecting with these candidates in addition to your other job campaign efforts can provide you with a deeper pool of qualified applicants to pull from.


The real key is how do you keep in touch with these qualified candidates?  Here are a few ways to remain engaged with these candidates:


Email / SMS: For everyone in your Talent Network, you should send email & mobile recruiting campaigns (as long as they opt-in) in coordination with every new job ad you send to job boards.  In addition, you should create separate groups for qualified candidates that just missed being hired for specific disciplines.  The messaging will be different from your other email campaigns as they shouldn’t have to do the same apply process online as other new candidates.  You can do this with most Recruiting CRM or databases.


Recruiter Phone Calls: Keep these candidates in a safe place that is centralized across your organization.  Once you have a new job position come across your desk, the first thing you do should be to look at your Talent Network and find the candidates that were qualified for similar positions.  The best ones you can reach out to directly to gauge interest in the position and hopefully set up the initial interview.  Don’t forget about candidates that don’t quite make it.


Find Positions for them & Set Expectations: If you have a great candidate that you know would be a tremendous addition to your company but can’t hire them for a specific position, why not create a position for them?  Ask around the department and see what workforce needs will be cropping up over the next 3-6 months.  Let the qualified candidate know about these potential opportunities to give them an expectation if there will be open positions at your company.


Just because your bubble bursts doesn’t mean your are a bad team or a bad candidate.  It just means that another candidate is slightly or subjectively better in that instance.  The candidates that don’t receive the job but reach the final stages of the interview process have great value to your organization and you need to make sure to include them in your future recruitment marketing plans.


Originally posted on SmashFly Recruitment Technology Blog.

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