Organisations will always choose the best one. Now to select the best, there are many other potentials who are evaluated. Why is it important for companies to keep the conversation ongoing even with those it has rejected.
Hiring the right talent is an uphill task with several layers of screening and processes involved. The gruelling routine does not always ensure a job for shortlisted candidates, as only a few end up being hired. However, the ones who do not, become the future potential candidates for the company. So, should the conversation with such prospects end there or should it be sustained? If it is to be continued, then why and how?
“Most companies hire candidates if they are a cultural and competency fit as against skills, because candidates can always get trained for skills. With change in technology, employees also constantly keep upgrading themselves and sooner or later there can be a match or an opportunity to engage with that candidate,” says Sailesh Menezes, director-human resources, India Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
If the company doesn’t keep the conversation going, it loses the opportunity to approach the candidate at the right time, and risks the opportunity being utilised by others in the market.
“It is possible for some candidates to be slightly overqualified or underqualified for the role, but inherently good. In such cases, the conversation has to keep going,” says Rohit Kumar, HR director (CHRO), Kellogg’s India.
Keep the brand intact
All recruiters interviewing candidates come across as brand ambassadors for the company. Even if the candidates do not get selected, they carry their perception of the experience with the recruiters.
It is important to continue conversing with these prospects as it leaves a huge positive impact on them, and they will further share these experiences with others in the market.
It is possible to engage with candidates at different points of time; or involve the middle management to engage with the potential candidates, with business ideas in an informal way. The reason why the decision couldn’t be made at that point in time, has to be communicated.
With change in technology, employees also constantly keep upgrading themselves and sooner or later there can be a match or an opportunity to engage with that candidate.
Make a case for future
In situations where a company is in the process of expansion and awaiting the license to begin operations, it can keep the conversation with the prospective candidates alive through informal ways till the time the decision is formalised.
“In such a scenario, the company operates with basic hirings, but it needs to fill the positions for regional manager, area manager and others, once the license comes through. The company takes those candidates’ views, constantly keeps in touch, and updates them about the license to build up a team at a later stage, all in an informal way,” said Kamlesh Dangi, former group president- human resources, UTI AMC.
“The candidates will appreciate the gesture and the brand will always be on top of their minds. They will be excited about the opportunity, whenever it arrives,” adds Dangi.
It is possible for some candidates to be slightly overqualified or underqualified for the role, but inherently good. In such cases, the conversation has to keep going.
Utilise technology to the maximum
Technology can help engage with candidates, and the first thing to do is identify the future potential candidates who will fit into the organisation. The process is similar to recruiting college graduates who join a year after they are hired. However, the companies constantly keep in touch with them by sharing information about their organisations.
After candidates are mapped through an interview process and shortlisted, the company should keep pushing information through an internal or external hiring system. The information shared can relate to company results, innovation in technology, achievements or future opportunities.
“It may be difficult to implement such a strategy if the scale of such potential candidates is large, in which case, a different mechanism has to be adopted,” says Kumar.
Companies should seek candidates’ views even after rejection and constantly keep in touch. Candidates
appreciate these gesture and the brand is always on top of their minds. They will be excited about the opportunity, whenever it arrives.
At the senior level, it is good to establish a personal connect with the potential candidates —someone from the talent team can make the effort to keep constantly in touch.
Another way to engage potential hires is to invite them to events or celebrations of important milestones, where no confidential information is shared. The candidates will look at the company more favourably than its competitors.
“Most companies find it tough to acquire talent at senior levels and it is important to keep prospects engaged if there are strong chances of hiring them in the future,” adds Menezes.