3 ways to keep engaged with candidates that aren’t ready to apply today

Every time a hire is made successfully, it’s a combination of the right opportunity at the right time for both the candidate and the organization.  A candidate is at the right place to move to the next step in their career and the organization offers an opportunity that meets the thresholds that the candidate desires.


When both the candidate’s and organization’s needs match up, it’s a glorious thing.  However, there are many instances in which the timing doesn’t meet up and it can be for a number of reasons:


  • A candidate is looking for a new opportunity in 6-12 months time, not today
  • A candidate can’t move locations at this moment in time
  • A candidate is just looking for information on the types of opportunities that are available.  Will only move if the right opportunity presents itself.
  • An organization doesn’t have the right position (in terms of seniority, skill-set) currently available
  • An organization isn’t currently hiring for that function at this time but expects to in the next few months


Those are just a few of the reasons that a candidate and organization may not meet up.  Keep in mind, that while this disconnect may happen during the interview process, it also may happen before a candidate ever applies.


No matter your organization, you’re missing out on some of qualified candidates that are interacting with you due to this timing issue.


So the question is, how can you bridge that gap between a candidate interacting with you and when the right opportunity for the candidate becomes available at your organization?


Permission to engage

The most important part of maintaining contact with candidates is to ensure you receive their permission to engage up front.  Whether it’s candidates that made it to the final stages of your interview process but didn’t get the job or enabling candidates to opt-in to future communications on your Career Site, you need to make it easy and transparent that you want to be able to follow up with them.


The key here is to not assume that because they applied, that they want to receive your communications.  Set expectations early on about what you will contacting them about and the value you are going to provide.


Once you receive their permission, don’t abuse it.  Make sure to send candidates only targeted messaging that applies to them.  If it’s not targeted, it will feel like spam.  Targeted messaging can include targeted employment opportunities, content around your company culture and helpful articles on their disciplines.  Aim to provide value.


3 Ways to keep engaged

When keeping engaged with candidates, there are a number of different channels you can use to provide targeted and timely information.  Here are three that can work for your recruitment marketingorganization:


Social Recruiting:Social channels provide a lightweight way for candidates to interact with your recruiters and consume information on your company.  The key with social however is to not make it just a job feed.  Provide helpful articles, funny posts and compelling content along with your jobs to make it so that candidates don’t start tuning you out when they look through their social feeds.

And most importantly, make sure you respond to every candidate that reaches out to you through these channels.  Nothing says bad candidates experience like a lack of response to an inquiry.

Talent Network:The foundation for any good Talent Network starts with customized and targeted Job Alerts.  But it can be much more than that.  Based on candidate skills and interests, you can also provide real value outside of jobs.  From potential job training opportunities (certifications, skill development, etc.) to targeted business news content to thought leadership articles, you can provide content that candidates will want to check out to remain up to date.

Recruiter Follow-Up:  Probably the best method for creating relationships with candidates is to have your recruiters pick up the phone and interact with them.  While you obviously can’t do this for every candidate, the high potential ones are ones to start with.  To get started, begin with candidates that made it to the final stages of the interview process but were the next best for the job.  These candidates were seen as a potential fit for the organization and could be a good candidate to follow up with when a similar opportunity opens up in the future.

Each of these methods not only provide the opportunity to keep candidates up to date about your company and potential employment opportunities but they also offer the ability to get to know more about these candidates.  Which can be invaluable in recruiting for future positions.


The Importance of staying top of mind

Candidates are inundated by messaging and opportunities from a number of different places.  That’s why it’s important for your organization to work on gaining their permission to engage while identifying the platform you want this engagement to happen.


Once permission is gained, it’s just beginning.  You need to prove you can provide value (measured through recruitment metrics) to the candidate in order to ensure you remain top of mind for when the right opportunity comes along.  Because even the best opportunities can’t sell a candidate if they don’t know about it.



Have any thoughts?  Let me know on Twitter @smashfly

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