The hiring process is hard enough without having to keep in touch with every unsuccessful applicant but – according to one industry figure – a little bit of leg work with those who came close could actually end up saving HR time and resources further down the road.
“If possible, which maybe it’s not, try and avoid the standard; ‘Thanks for your resume, we’ll contact you if suitable,’” says Dianne Hunnam-Jones, a district director with Robert Half.
“Your response should be somewhat more robust that than but you’d be amazed at how many companies don’t even have the auto response thanking somebody for their resume,” she continues. “That really doesn’t do your employer branding any good.”
Instead, Hunnam-Jones says employers should consider applicants not only for the vacancy at hand but also for any that may come up in future.
“If somebody applies to your posting it should be a case of HR saying; ‘You’re not what we’re looking for right now but could I keep your resume on hand in case something in the market comes up?’”
Once they’ve established that connection, Hunnam-Jones says organizations should have measures in place to contact those people.
“That allows you to build a talent community of talent pipeline because you’re keeping yourself top of mind for anybody who has the potential to join your company,” she explains. “Then when you do have a need, you’ve already lined up a number of people who are part of your talent network.”
However, Hunnam-Jones says the most effective organizations don’t just reach out to their talent network when a job opportunity arises – they actually maintain regular communication.
“Companies that do a rely good job of building their talent pipeline not only keep those people on hand, they also have a little bit of outreach once a year or once every six months,” she tells HRM.
According to Hunnam, outreach can be something as simple as asking previous applicants to like your social media page to stay up to date with vacancies or keeping them abreast of the latest organizational developments.
“You have these great candidates any they might not be right for your company at this very moment but they could be in the future so why not keep them in your pipeline?”