Perfect candidate, no vacancy to fill. Now what?

Job seekers don’t always wait for a job offer to appear. Sometimes the desire to work in a particular company is strong enough for them to send an application, even though they know the company is not currently looking for new employees. Even though we want to, we can’t hire them. What can we do? It can also happen that two “star” candidates apply for the same job with only one opening. We can only hire one, but what do we do with the other?

We should definitely not let them go without remembering them and keeping them in mind for the future. We need to proactively build a relationship with the, because in this way we will make our own work easier at the moment when we need to hire someone again. This is how we can:

  • Reduce time to hire
  • Reduce time to fill
  • Reduce cost per hire
  • Make better hires

Of course, we want them to remain interested in working with us. Maybe we can even convince them to wait for a new job opening. We can help you with that, with the following steps:

  1. Let them Down Gently. An interested candidate never wants to hear that he did not get the job, but if you relay the message properly, the candidate can still feel good about his job opportunities with you and does not close the door to employment with your company. However, we should not give a candidate a false sense of job security – make sure you are honest in your answer. You can also support your message when not only informing them about the situation by email, but also by taking the time to have a telephone conversation. If you had to choose between two candidates, you can also explain that you had to choose only one person and why, despite the likes of both, you chose someone else.
  2. Establish Ongoing Communication. Many HR professionals agree that the best way to do that is to start working proactively with an interested candidate. You can do this via email, through which you inform the candidate about new vacancies, we can also call them every now and then to find out how they are doing while looking for a job. If a similar job appears, you can also inform them via phone call. In this way, you let the candidate know that you have not forgotten about them and that you still want them in your team.
  3. Be Honest. Although you want to hire this star candidate in the future, it is important that you are transparent in providing information. You shouldn’t give them false hope that some vacancy might “open up any time now” but you rather encourage them to follow their heart when choosing a job, even though that may not be with us. So you let them know that you value them and their time.

So the next time you find yourself in a situation where you have to choose between two “star” candidates, don’t be disappointed that you have to let one of them go. Instead, look at it as a valuable opportunity to increase your talent pool from which you will be able to choose in the future.