October 28th, 2019

You have more great candidates than available spots. How to handle the runner ups?

Making important decisions is a part of your daily routine as someone working in the HR industry. It’s not an easy task, and it can be stressful. Keep on reading to learn more about how to handle this decision making while staying relaxed.

Imagine that you are the head coach of an Olympic team. The criteria for the competition is decided, the expectations are high, and time is running out. You need to choose ten participants from a group of twenty. They are all young, ambitious, talented. The differences are few.

Yet, you need to choose ten and disappoint some people in the process. It is somewhat similar to what a hiring manager has to go through, except that his job is usually even harder.

Why? Well, in most cases, they need to choose only one person, and there will be more than twenty candidates, perhaps a hundred of them.

For some of the candidates that will be their first interview, or maybe 15th that week, meaning that it’s a truly emotional situation for them. The candidate from the first group might take it personally, which would hurt his confidence, and for the other group, it might be an additional blow in the series of disappointments. How should you handle these situations? We’ve prepared a few tips.

First things first

Use the specific tools and sort out the promising candidates. Sorting out the candidates is essential when the recruitment is made of several stages. Why? Because, for the sake of your company’s prestige, and your own for that matter, you need to invest time in those people. Show them that they are not just numbers and names.

Is it easy? No. Doable? Yes. As the stages progress, the time that you have to invest increases proportionally. More time means that the candidate will feel more unique, and appreciate your involvement. For them, every second you’ve spent with them is precious.

Giving feedback and how to do it

Feedbacks are a must when you are interviewing people. It’s an information for which they crave for, regardless of your final decision. Information which will serve as an additional step to success, if, for some reason you decide not to employ them.

When it comes to the template emails, it’s perfectly fine to send them out to the people who did not even stand a chance. No need to feel bad about it. Although, you should create the template in a way that will still show that you care and that you acknowledge all those who’ve tried.

What about the final five? Or the final three? You gave them your time. Listened and observed carefully. They are all so close to getting the job, but you have to make the decision.

Take a deep breath, it’s okay. Don’t even think about sending the infamous template to the candidates. With those people, it is a necessity that they feel how hard it was for you to choose the right person. That you fully and undoubtedly respect them for coming that far and consider them worthy.

It will keep their spirits high, help them accept the truth, and the truth is that they will not be sitting in that beautiful office any time soon.

Pay special attention to people who are unemployed at the moment. Their hopes were big, and who knows how much they needed the job. Boost their morale by explaining that they did great. They didn’t fail; it’s just that the tiniest facts decided the outcome.

Keep showing that you really did care

After the initial rejection through proper feedback, leave some space for the future. Say something in the lines of: “Hey, it didn’t work out this time, but I would like to stay in touch since you were close to getting the job. I might have a new opportunity for you in the future”.

Again, this will mean a lot for both your and your company’s reputation, and who knows - you might actually have something for them in the future.

If you happen to find out that the candidate got a job elsewhere, congratulate them and wish them all the best.

Use the tools

Apart from keeping in touch with the candidates through social media, it would help if you also used some of the tools (yup, that’s us) for candidate management. Tools like ours help you keep your candidate pool nice and clean. Go through it regularly, and always have in mind the right candidates for future openings. You will save a lot of time, and make the recruitment job way more relaxed..

Making decisions is not easy. Neither in private nor in professional life. Will you take that candy even if mommy said “no”? What college should you go to? Who will be your life companion/partner? Those are huge, we are sometimes afraid of them, and that’s okay.

It’s okay to make a mistake, as it is impossible to always make the right decision. What if it feels right, but afterward turns out to be wrong, or vice versa?

When interviewing and employing people, use the tools provided, and always have in mind those who came second or third. They are a huge potential which you can use in the future.

About iglooHR
Our goal is to provide the best tool to organize your recruitment process. We strive to innovate traditional Applicant Tracking Systems. With iglooHR, you get all the essential tools for efficient recruiting.