REDEFINING “BAD” APPLICANTS

Most companies have two classifications of candidates – Yes & No!

“Yes” Candidates are the people you want to spend most of your time on so you can get them on your team. These are the people you covet. Unfortunately not many of them apply and you can’t spend time on what you don’t have!

“No” candidates are where you spend 80%+ of your time.  These are the “serial applicants” or “resume bombers” that overwhelm your inbox.  You’re investing 80% of your time sifting through resumes and hoping to hire the “best of the worst” because that is what your recruiting strategy is attracting.

But to me there are 2 categories of “no” candidates:  Can’t & Won’t.

Can’t Hire
These are the people who don’t meet your minimum education requirements, have the technical skill or experience or live in the wrong state or country.

These are the candidates who apply to every job, from anywhere regardless of the education or experience needed.

If your current strategy is attracting these candidates you’re advertising in the wrong places and if you don’t change your approach, you’ll be wasting your time and spinning your tires hiring the best of the worst for a long time to come.

Won’t Hire (not now anyway)
These are the applicants that are close but not quite ready yet, the people who need a little more practical experience or targeted education. They are “the middle!”

This is where you need to spend 80% of your time.  They may be rejects today, but tomorrow they’ll  be perfect for you!

Keep these candidates close.  Build a relationship with them.

Differentiate yourself from your competition. Instruct them as to the education or experience they need to get to coma and work for you.  Invite them into your “inner circle.” Indoctrinate them with your company’s leadership and culture.  Get them ready so when the time is right you can hire them into your operation – seamlessly!

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! Times have changed and it’s all about engagement.  Respond to and engage with your leaders and employees of the future now (you can learn more about how to do that here: High Potential Rejects: The Power of Engaging with Rejected Applicants).  Tell them you see their potential and value.  Give them the feedback and guidance they crave. Show them that you care… when your competition doesn’t.

Treat them like the best of the worst and they will move on, never to apply to you again.

Treat them with respect, give them encouragement and engage with them and they’ll be informed and ready candidates waiting for you to post your next job.

1 Comment

  • Rui

    Reply Reply September 17, 2015

    , if they’re good I’ll LinkIn with them as well. My problem I’ve seen as a reuircter is in the final interviews when hiring managers should be doing that non-select call (I firmly believe they should be doing that last call rather than the reuircter whenever possible by that point it’s more personal), and tell me they’ll call the candidate and I find out they never did. Total bummer. Recruiter & hiring manager are business partners and both represent the company. I’ve been through it as a candidate and usually am ignored when I ask for feedback or if I’ve gotten the position by most companies so I don’t want anyone to feel that way!

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