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4 Reasons to Reach Back Out to Previously Considered Candidates

A recruiter’s best resource is their talent community. Why start a new search from scratch if you already have a network of talent right at your fingertips? Candidates who have previously gone through the interview process and did well are a fantastic place to start. Here are 4 reasons you should consider reaching back out to them when a new role opens up.  

  • Talent that wasn’t a fit in the past might be a fit now

Thousands of dollars are spent and wasted qualifying top of funnel talent. As a recruiter, you have only have so many hours in the day to allocate toward achieving your hiring goals. Why not maximize the ROI of those efforts? Relationships matter in recruiting, and the tone for the candidate/company relationship is struck from the first touch point. By treating candidates like customers, the entire tone of the relationship changes. Just because a candidate wasn’t a fit for a company in the past doesn’t mean that candidate won’t be a fit today - especially if being considered for a new role, team or function. The companies that are winning in the talent ecosystem today are those who consider all potential candidate sources. By definition, any “silver medalist” candidates were previously qualified by a recruiter - they could be gold medal material now, especially if you are able to surface information beyond their resume!

  • A hoarded, stagnant talent pipeline adds no value...to anyone

By virtue of sheer application volume, companies end up building massive databases of candidates. Historically, these databases have been treated as systems of record to generate charts and reports. The winning companies, however, treat these databases as systems of engagement that enable them to build and maintain relationships with their talent pool, regardless of status. The status quo is steadily changing as companies realize that systems of record alone create a subpar experience for all stakeholders in the talent ecosystem. The candidate is left in the dark, either churning away in an opaque interview process or anxiously waiting to hear if they might be a fit for a different role. The applicant volume creates resource problems as well, as a ballooning backlog leads to candidates falling through the cracks. By sharing or resurfacing past candidates instead of hoarding them, companies can leverage the time invested in each candidate in the past into net present value today.

  • The Candidate Experience & Your Talent Brand

The Candidate Experience and Talent Branding are concepts that every company pays lip service to, but few companies do anything about. One concrete way of improving both is to follow up with every candidate regardless of process outcome, providing additional opportunities and nurturing the candidate relationship, even after they are no longer under active consideration. Proactively reaching out to past candidates empowers them to leverage the application process they previously wrote off as a sunk cost of their job search toward finding new opportunities. Jobseekers remember who help them in their job search, and all it takes is a single introduction leading to an offer to make a positive impression and build an enduring talent brand.

  • Time to Hire and Cost Per Hire

At the end of the day, all conversations about tools, people and processes tie back to budget, cost and time. According to the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), the national average cost per hire is $4,129, with technical roles in the $10,000-$20,000 range. The dollars invested in evaluating and screening each candidate quickly add up. The SHRM’s research also showed that the average company takes 42 days to fill an open role. Given that “silver medalist” candidates likely went through the majority of the application process, it stands to reason that resurfacing these candidates for active consideration again leads to decreased time per hire and cost per hire.


Oliver Zhou and Patrick Hillstrom co-founded Hirevisor, Inc. Formerly at Apple and LinkedIn respectively, they founded Hirevisor in 2016 in San Francisco. With Hirevisor, they’re building a platform that facilitates peer-to-peer talent sourcing. Hirevisor helps companies to find and share quality, actionable candidates, enabling both companies and candidates to get more out of each application. To learn more, visit www.hirevisor.com.



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