Nurture and Build Pipelines By Improving the Candidate Experience

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Nov 11, 2015
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

We all know candidates often interview with more than one company at a time. That’s not bad form, that’s being smart. It makes sense for one to pick the top companies they want to work for and go for it!

Alternatively, as recruiters and sourcers, we should make sure that we have multiple candidates interviewing at the same time for the same role. Pick your top three candidates and take all three through the entire process. Once you’ve finished the process with the top three, put an offer out to the hiring manager’s top pick but keep the other two warm. If one of the top three falls off at any time during the process, work to replace that candidate so you always have three in the final stage.

I know this is the best case scenario, but consider how strong your position is with the hiring manager if you can have three candidates that could be hired for one position.

But what happens after I fill the position?

We don’t want to get into the habit of “catch and release” because that makes it harder the next time we go fishing. It also has the potential to harm our employment brand. If we have followed the practice of working a top three list, chances are the other two candidates that you have in the process should be hirable as well. If you want them to consider working with you in the future, be sure to be very open and honest with them so they know where they stand.

Once the primary candidate accepts the position, see if there is a future opening that the hiring manager may know about or can get budget approval for for the “silver medalist” candidates. If that doesn’t work, see if the candidates can be used by any of the other hiring managers for other business units.

Still not able to find them a home?

Once we’ve exhausted all of our options for hiring the other two qualified candidates, we should build a pipeline for the “silver medalist” candidates and a plan to keep them engaged. Follow them through their next career moves so when something that fits their background does surface, you have warm, qualified candidates ready to talk. If we do this the right way, they realize they weren’t just a piece of paper that crossed our desk.

Recruiting is about relationships, not transactions. Paying extra attention to our candidates can keep our pipelines full, our hiring managers happy, and our employment brand strong.

What else is your talent acquisition department doing for the silver medalist candidates?

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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