Recruiting Online? Why Revisiting Silver-medallist Candidates Gives You A Better Advantage

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How many times have you progressed through the hiring process while recruiting online and realized that your final two candidates were almost evenly matched?

But one given the golden employment opportunity and the other a second choice?

While it’s great to be in that kind of position as a recruiter, it can be tough to turn down a talented second-choice candidate.

But, these “silver medal candidates” pose significant opportunities for your company and great care should be taken to continuously engage them. You never know when you may need to hire them in your company.

In this blog, I’ll share six tips that you can implement to foster enduring positive relationships with your silver medalist candidates:

Set Expectations From The Start

recruiter looking at resumes while recruiting online

Setting clear expectations is extremely important when recruiting online. This critical step begins before you ever know someone will end up as your silver medalist candidate for a role. An expectation that is a part of any respectful hiring process is that the recruiter or hiring manager should tell the candidate

  • The milestones involved in the hiring process,
  • An estimate of process duration, and
  • The method by which the candidate will be informed of his/her status during and at the end of the cycle.

The added bonus of setting expectations well is that this behaviour naturally forces accountability. After all, a recruiter who doesn’t follow through with what they say they will do is going to damage their reputation, as well as the employment brand of the company.

Promptly Communicate To Show Respect To The Candidate

recruiter welcoming a candidate after recruiting online

To reinforce the expectations set at the beginning of the hiring process, recruiters should communicate with candidates regularly and promptly while recruiting online. Even with multiple job openings and numerous candidates, there’s no excuse not to touch base with candidates thanks to the communication automation tools that are capable of candidate personalization available in applicant tracking systems.

While it can induce less stress to communicate with candidates earlier in the process, it can be trickier to do so with the final two candidates. Especially if the top pick is reviewing an employment offer you already extended while the silver medalist waits to hear if she is still in contention. If a deadline passes while you wait on an answer from your top choice, message the runner-up to explain that you will touch base with her again in a reasonable amount of time. Then, make sure you do.

Timely communication shows your respect for the candidate, and even if they don’t make the cut this time, they will remember how you treated her and the resulting word of mouth will more favourably represent your company.

Reject Expertly To Keep The Candidate In Your Pipeline

recruiter looking at candidates while recruiting online

No one likes delivering bad news when recruiting online. But if there are two candidates left in your hiring process and they’ve both invested a great deal of time completing your hiring process, you owe the runner-up a formal let-down. Call them–don’t just email!

If that’s hard, make yourself accountable heading into the final phase interview by telling them that they will receive a phone call either way at the end of the process.

Then, also follow up with a thank you email and let them know of your sincere, continued interest in them for future roles within your company. Tell them how to learn about future job postings via your ATS job alert feature, and be honest about how often you might hire for positions that fall into their wheelhouse.

Connect For Future Follow-up

recruiters talking about recruiting online

During the phone call and thank you email, let the candidate know that you’re open to connecting on social media so that you have an easy means of staying in touch with each other in the future. This is a great way for the candidate to be exposed to future career-related content that you may personally post or that is shared from your company’s social media profiles.

If your organization isn’t likely to be hiring relevant roles anytime soon, offer to help the silver medalist by connecting them with others in your network through virtual introductions.

To help prepare the candidate to go for the gold at the next job opportunity when recruiting online, make them aware of resources that might help them improve their job-related skills or knowledge (e.g. certification study courses, industry-related member associations, etc.).

Put Silver Medalists On The Fast Track

recruiter talking to a candidate while recruiting online

A surefire way to disengage silver medal candidates is to make them reinvent the wheel to apply to future roles that interest them when recruiting online. Considering that they’ve already gone through your entire selection process, there must be opportunities to put them on the fast track for certain roles.

If you proactively source them for a new position, do the equivalent of giving them a “bye” in your recruiting tournament and start them at a later stage in the hiring process. The one exception to this may be if your company must adhere to certain compliance requirements that necessitate each individual experiencing every stage for a position.

Nevertheless, applicant tracking systems, like EVA-REC, make it easy for you to pull forward previous resumes and standard application questions while giving candidates the opportunity to answer job-related questions that are unique to the new role for which they are applying.

Wrapping It Up

Next time you disregard the candidates who weren’t chosen for a certain role while recruiting online, create a strategy to track and nurture them for other possible roles in your organization. They were narrowed down as a finalist for a reason and soon enough they will be ready to earn that gold.

EVA-REC is an award-winning ATS that helps small businesses to corporate giants build skillful workforces and hire top talent at scale when recruiting online. It makes it far easier for hiring teams to find, attract, and recruit top talent, each and every time. With world-class integrations and AI features, EVA-REC helps companies drive merit-based, objective, and fair hiring practices that minimize bias, without dehumanizing the hiring process.

Request a free demo and see how our ATS can help you save time and make recruiting painless and hassle-free.

Make the right hires every time

Learn how our award-winning applicant tracking system can help you use AI and automation to save time, eliminate manual tasks, and make the right hires every time.
Request demo

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