Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stay Connected with Unsuccessful Job Seekers

With crushing unemployment and zero leadership in Washington D.C. to take meaningful action, we in the Recruitment world are letting job seekers know more than ever that they can not join our organizations.  It’s not that they aren’t good people; or that they wouldn’t be productive.  We either do not have enough vacancies to meet the need, or the applicants do not have what we need in terms of training and experience.  But does that mean we should disengage from these folks and never see them again?

That my friends is the new definition of lunacy in the Recruitment space.

Connections Are Good
Consider what is happening right now.  Thousands of job seekers are reaching out to employers across the world in an attempt to not only land a job, but to make a difference in the history of those organizations.  And for those that we can not bring on board right now we’re offering a collective “thanks for stopping…bye-bye.”  Let me tell you, I think that sucks.  Politicians have no idea how to create jobs, but we do.  We also have the ability to stay connected with motivated job seekers to make sure we help them find work when it becomes available.  But doing so requires leadership, effort and time.  If you’re going to wait for Washington to respond, you’re going to wait for a L O N G time.  I’m simply not that patient.

Captive Audiences = Opportunity
Perhaps the next logical step is to stay connected with this group of candidates?  After all, we have their information, we know they would like to join our companies, and most of all we know they need the work.  Now here’s the trick – we need to treat them well throughout the recruitment process, including when we tell them no, because they just might be able to fill a vacancy for us down the road.

Imagine that…ditching the “we’ll keep your resume on file spiel” and actually staying connected with candidates for months, even years, after they’ve originally applied.  I love it.

How About You
This is not a new concept, but I’m fired up about it, and will be moving ahead with it in my own organization.  If you’re already staying connected with unsuccessful candidates, how do you do it?  What worked?  What failed?  I’ll share more as we launch our strategy; but for now I'm just anxious to get started!
I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of trouper


  1. I think this is an awesome idea, Jay!

  2. When I screen someone out who is a second tier candidate, I try to be honest with them about that. "Hey, someone else was more qualified, but we really liked you for the position. Would you mind if I keep your name in the hat next time we have a similar opening?"

    99% of the time they are glad that I 1) followed up 2) gave them a reason and 3) wanted to continue contact. Definitely has come in handy when we have a quick turnaround and I know the person was our second best choice in the last interviewing block.

    I don't do it for the people who are really unqualified. That would demand too much of my limited time to maintain contact with wholly unqualified people. But if they are close and just missed it by a bit, then they are definitely worth talking with. Especially if they seemed like they would be a good culture fit. Great post, Jay!

  3. Anonymous - thanks for the feedback!

    Ben - many thanks for the perspective. I agree completely. However, since we have hundreds of candidates each month who may not be qualitifed now, but will be with 12-24 months experience, it's a great opportunity for us to stay connected with not only those who just missed out, but those who will be qualified down the road.

    Really appreciate your feedback Ben!