Culture & Retention Recruiting

3 Reasons to Love the Wrong Candidate


Love your medical sales candidates
BigStock; SCPhotog

Sifting through a mountain of applicants to find the right candidate is hard work. Picking the perfect person for a job takes time.

For every open position, recruiters receive 250 resumes, and 50 percent of job seekers don’t have basic qualifications for job they want. Therefore, recruiters spend a lot more time speaking with candidates who are wrong for the job than those who are a perfect match.

Are you making the most of your interactions with job seekers who aren’t right for the job? Although it may be tempting to quickly brush off the wrong candidates, building relationships with applicants can be beneficial in your talent search.

This Valentine’s day, consider showing some love to the wrong candidates. Here are some reasons why:

Identify Future Talent

Just because a promising candidate doesn’t fit the current position you’re recruiting for, it doesn’t mean they won’t be right for those that may open up in the future. Promotions, business expansion, and leadership changes can change the needs of a firm’s sales team. If you find a skilled job seeker who could potentially fit into other roles that may become available, hold onto them.

Reach out to them — explain why they weren’t selected for the current position but that you are interested in their skills. Add them to your professional network and check in every once in a while to build a relationship.

Keeping in touch with passive candidates is even more important. About 75 percent of working professionals would consider switching jobs if the right one came along, and 72 percent of U.S. employers said finding these candidates is a top priority. But attracting passive candidates can be difficult. They may be reluctant to risk their current position, benefits, and work relationships on a new opportunity. Passive job seekers who know you well will be more likely to make the switch when a position opens up.

Gain Networking Opportunities

According to our infographic, 38 percent of companies have open positions they can’t fill. If you’re having trouble tracking down the right candidate, being nice to those that don’t make the cut could help.

Our 2014 job search survey found that 72 percent of job seekers use LinkedIn in their job search, the second most used platform after job sites. In addition, 66 percent of respondents find jobs through word of mouth. Job seekers who have a positive hiring experience will be more likely to help you, the recruiter, fill the position. Candidates who are treated well throughout the process but don’t get the gig will be more comfortable recommending the company and position to their friends and contacts and sharing the job posting with their professional networks.

Being polite and respectful to all candidates is a simple thing to do, but it can go a long way. Each job seeker is a professional with a network of connections and resources that could lead you to another great hire.

Build Your Employer Brand

In the competitive recruiting climate, an employer brand is becoming more and more important. Among global talent leaders surveyed for or LinkedIn’s 2015 Global Recruiting Trends, 56 percent said they believe cultivating their employer brand is a top priority. Building relationships with job applicants can help to boost your — or your client’s — employer brand.

A survey conducted by Jobvite found that 51 percent of job seekers share good hiring experiences on social media, while 34 percent share bad experiences. Positive reviews can help build a strong employer brand and draw in more talent, while negative reviews could hurt the brand, repelling job seekers.

Little things like keeping open communication with job candidates can create a good hiring experience for job seekers. The same Jobvite survey found that 56 percent of job seekers surveyed received no feedback after sending in an application. Strengthening an employer brand could be as simple as letting candidates know the status of their application. Little courtesies could have a big impact on job seekers’ impressions of the employer.

In a sea of job seekers, finding the right one for the job isn’t easy. Remembering to show a little love to every candidate, even those who don’t fit the bill can make finding that special candidate a little easier.

How do you show love to job seekers?