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Why it Pays to Connect With Candidates

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After sourcing your way through pages of emails and mountains of resumes, after interviewing dozens of people dozens of times, you’ve finally, finally narrowed your hiring decision down to the last couple of qualified candidates. And boy are they qualified! These two were just what you were looking for: they’ve got the skills, they’ve done their research on your company and they even seem pretty friendly to boot! Though you’re pretty sure that it would be a good move to hire both of them, you’ve only got enough in the budget to hire one of these talented professionals. Though this is a problem that most hiring managers love to have, it’s not one that most experience. According to the Amtec Blog, 40% of companies report that certain positions are remaining open for 6 months or longer, due to a lack of qualified candidates. But, for now, let’s go on pretending that you’ve got that not-so-problematic problem of choosing between your 2 dream hires: which to bring into the fold at your firm and which to cast into the abyss, never to be seen again.

Because that’s what happens to candidates when you don’t hire them, they disappear off of the face of the earth, right? Well, that all depends on how a candidate feels after getting to the final stage of your screening process. If you’ve left them with a positive impression of your company, which is what every good hiring function should aim to do, then the candidate can become part of your hiring database, an interested party to look up the next time you’re trying to fill a job. As a rule, whenever a qualified or exceptionally qualified applicant crosses your path, you want to make sure that you’ll be able to contact them for future openings. You also want to be sure that they’ll be interested in hearing what you have to say when you reconnect. In order for a candidate database to work effectively for you, your screening process has to treat applicants with respect. That means: clear communications, organized scheduling and letting all of the candidates know when the position has been closed. Unfortunately, it has become a common practice for hiring managers to only get back to the person that they ultimately hire and toss the rest of the qualified babies out with the bathwater. In a time when finding qualified applicants is causing so many companies trouble, building relationships with the candidates that you screen will ensure that your candidate database is full of people who will associate your job opportunity with, well…an opportunity.

If your company uses an applicant tracking system to source or even evaluate the candidates that apply to your company, then you already have access to a fairly robust candidate database. Looking up great candidates from the past and contacting them can be a breeze when all of that information is automatically collected across the company, that is, of course, if you remember who was great. Though some applicant tracking systems give users the option to save people of interest, for the most part, it’s got to be you who keeps track of the great candidates that you’ve had to pass on. This is made difficult, primarily, because many applicant tracking systems give users access to larger candidate databases, making the task of digging up old, great applicants all the more like finding a lost earring in a Chuck-E-Cheese ball pit. That’s why, when you source a great candidate, you should make managing that candidate through the process a top priority. Keep them abreast of their status in the screening process and, if you end up choosing another great candidate, make sure to: let them know how close the decision was and ask if they’d like to be informed of future openings at your company. Once you’ve gone to all this trouble, keep this person on file somewhere that’s easily accessible. You might even want to create a rating system for candidates so that you can look at your database and tell, at a glance, who you’re going to re-connect with first.

Monster announced on Wednsday that they’ll be releasing a new tool for employers to get the most out of their candidate databases. Monster’s Cloud “Candidate Relationship Management” tool (CRM), allows users to upload their candidate databases to the cloud (whether it’s in a spread sheet or an ATS), and then search for specific qualifications in like in a traditional applicant tracking system. The search also extends to Monster’s own candidate database. What’s not so traditional about this search is that it doesn’t use a keyword based search in an ATS, but a more advanced semantic search. In the demonstration of Monster’s new program, Javid Muhammedali, Monster’s VP of product management, “searched for a biz dev manager with chemistry as a skill. The search turned up candidates with experience in mass spectrometry because 6 Sense understands that mass spectrometry is an analytical chemistry technique. The typical ATS keyword search would have missed that.” While this product is toting quite a price tag (2000$), Monster’s CRM could help candidate databases more valuable than ever and make digging through them far less time consuming

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