June 14, 2022

How to turn rejected candidates into brand ambassadors

Rejecting candidates is hard. Be it candidates who are just passing by, or the ones who show passion and commitment, letting them go never gets easier.

Nabih Haidar

The candidate experience plays a significant role in the brand’s perception. Ask yourself this, what do the candidates you rejected say about your company?

Candidates will often communicate their job-hunting experience with those around them; around 69% of candidates would share their negative experience with their friends and network. Good experiences could be communicated, while negative candidate experiences will be shared.

When considering candidates and their networks as potential consumers, the imperative to offer a positive candidate experience becomes clear.

Mind the void

During their job search, candidates can quickly find themselves in what is described as the candidate void. This happens when candidates receive little to no updates regarding their application.

Often times the candidate experience is one of mass applications and little results, with lengthy periods of silence. Candidates are kept in the dark regarding their application, only to receive an untimely transactional rejection email.

What if the same communication practice was applied to customers? In this scope, the problematic nature of how we communicate with our candidates become clear. For instance, a whopping 83% of candidates believe that a negative interview experience could change their mind about a role or company that they once liked.

In order to create a positive and engaging candidate experience, organizations should look to nurture their candidates. Candidate nurture is the act of engaging and maintaining positive relationships with your talent community beyond their role and status in your recruitment funnel.

Positive candidate nurture entails being a resource to your talent community by sharing insights, tips, and opportunities to help them excel in their careers.

Stop rejecting candidates

What if we stopped rejecting candidates and started referring them instead?

We often come across candidates who we wish we could hire, but for one reason or another we have to let go. This usually spells the end of their road with our organization, but does it have to?

Regardless of the hiring decision, the potential we spot in a candidate should not go ignored. When we come across a candidate we know deserves a chance, instead of closing the door of opportunities and leaving them to fend for themselves, we can refer them to opportunities and become a positive resource.

Photo by Olivier Collet on Unsplash

Why Refer?

We asked: “what do the candidates you rejected say about your company?” in order to highlight how a negative candidate experience can alter a brand’s image. Assuming candidates have been referred instead of rejected, we ask the same question, but differently:

What do candidates you referred say about your organization?

In this regard, the brand’s perception undergoes a tangible shift. Organizations who refer their candidates will be seen as positive resources, and candidates will communicate their positive experiences to their circles.

Candidates will appreciate the effort you put into their professional careers.

The candidate journey is a harrowing experience, with competition over roles increasing and access to open positions seemingly decreasing. For context, candidates have a mere 8.3% chance of getting an interview from a single job application.

It takes candidates between 100 and 200 job applications to get an offer, while around 80% of jobs are not posted online. This highlights the hardship candidates face when seeking employment, and offers a further imperative to refer candidates and become a positive resource.

When you refer your candidates, they will communicate your efforts with those around them. Your brand will establish itself as caring and benevolent, which will attract more consumers towards your organization, ultimately leading to an increase in sales and revenues.

When you refer your candidates and they find a job, they become closer to you. Referring candidates is often misunderstood as letting candidates go, yet in reality it serves to build lasting relationships with talent communities.

Referring candidates will also greatly improve candidate attraction, and will facilitate your recruitment efforts. Talent will be incentivized to take part of an organization which cares for its candidates due to the positive nature of the candidate experience.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Refer = Reward

Referring candidates hold benefits beyond employer branding and facilitated candidate attraction. When you refer candidates, you have an opportunity to make recruitment profitable and recoup on your recruitment investment.

Finding the right candidate can drain time, resources, and energy. We often expend a lot into a recruitment campaign, only to forget about the candidates we didn’t hire. Why let that investment go to waste?

When you refer a candidate to Vela, you’ll receive a commission for each candidate you helped get hired. Vela pays you for being a positive resource for your talent community, so you can reinvest those funds where it matters.

Vela’s peer-to-peer recruitment platform connects interview finalists with compatible opportunities, so all parties can cut through the noise and get to the right meeting quicker. Use Vela to nurture relationships with your talent community, and take your employer branding to the next level.

Refer your interview finalists to Vela and earn a return on recruitment investment to increase your budgets and make recruitment profitable. When you refer your candidates, you revolutionize the candidate experience, while building lasting relationships with your talent pool.

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