When you have multiple qualified candidates for one opening

In a time when finding one good candidate seem to be impossible, companies get very excited when they finally find the one and focus all their attention into securing that talent. After weeks or even months of searching, HR and Recruiters are ready to throw in the towel and in the final seconds, they see the light at the end of the tunnel. And sometimes this happens multiple times in one search and the HR or Recruiter start to get comfortable because there are a few options and the chances of success appear to be very high in filling the position.


This is when some HR and Recruiters may begin to lose focus when really there is more work to be done. Just because there is currently one position and multiple candidates suitable for this job, doesn’t always mean you’re choosing one from the group. It could be that they can all end up with the company somehow, and this is where things get interesting.


Let’s explore the importance of recognizing that you have multiple strong candidates and when you can only choose one, how do you handle the candidates who are not getting a job offer at this time.


When you begin a search when recruiting for a position, your goal is to find the number of good candidates to fill the number of jobs that is available. And sometimes luck will be on your side, and you have more good candidates than there are available positions. This is a good problem because even if one of those candidates are not interested in the job, you have others who are just as qualified who may be more interested in accepting the position.


When you’re in this situation, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger and you find yourself just focused on the best candidate. And it is especially important that you don’t lose sight of the other potential candidates because over the years, studies have shown that candidates are the first choice don’t always end up accepting offers. Reasons being, they are your first choice and possibly many other companies’ first choice as well and that candidates have the option to choose. They may or may not choose your company. And with any candidates, anything can happen, they could be interested one day, and then the next day, they change their mind, and they are interested in something else. Or they don’t pass your checks, whether it’s a criminal background check, reference check, or skills tests. Or they get cold feet and decide they would like to stay in their comfort zone and continue doing what they have known for years.


Whatever the reason, it is important to identify multiple prospective candidates and if you’re lucky to have a few, to make sure you keep them all engaged and interested even while your first candidate has been presented an offer and is reviewing to decide to accept or not.


Below are a few tips on how to keep all your prospective candidates still interested and engaged, even when they’re not the ones who received an offer:


1) Quick to respond and Keep In touch

After going through the interview process, one of the things that job candidates hate most is not hearing from the company anymore. They invested their time to meet with your team and to answer your questions, they just want to know what the status of their application is, even if it means they’re not selected. It is important to be quick in responding back to them as soon as your team has a decision at each step of the process and to keep in touch regularly to provide updates on your progress up until the process is complete and someone is starting the position.


2) Be personable, transparent, and honest

Honesty goes a long way in life, and it works the same way in your interactions with your job candidates. No one likes being lied to or led on about something that is not true. Most job candidates are happy to just being considered for a position and will not have any negativity if a company was to say that there’s someone else being considered. This shows your company’s character and integrity in being transparent and that is what can be expected of your team. This is the type of company people want to be a part of, rather than those who are deceptive and only care about their own agenda.


3) Set realistic timelines and expectations

You don’t want to hold anyone back and timing is everything. Good candidates who are actively seeking for new opportunities may have two, three or four interviews and no matter how much you want to hang onto someone, they would appreciate it to know just exactly how long the process will take, how many steps, what to expect so that they can make informed decisions on their end. Sometimes by giving false expectations only later for it all to turn out differently than advertised or the process taking much longer with delays after delays, even if the candidates were interested to begin with, they will quickly lose interest.


4) Keeping good notes about Candidates

Even though you’ve set your sights on one candidate and you’re during negotiating an offer with them, make sure you keep good notes on your other prospective candidates and that they don’t feel like an afterthought if you must go back to them. Having good notes and knowing the details about all your candidates will make them feel like they’re important and that they’ve always been part of your decision.


5) Keep the door open

And even if the position has been filled, you still want to make your other prospective candidates feel good even though they weren’t the ones getting the job. It’s all in the delivery of your message and you want to make sure to be authentic, genuine and show empathy. Again, no one goes into a job interview thinking 100% they will get the job, so they will understand when they weren’t selected. You just never know what will happen one week, three months, or a year down the road. Maybe the person who accepted the position never shows up or they turn out not to be what they claim to be. Or your company is rapidly growing and gets new business that requires more hires. Whatever the case, good people are hard to come by and when you’ve found one or two or three, make sure to let them know that the company would be open to future discussions should other opportunities become available.


Nowadays, if you find yourself with too many good candidates and too little job openings for them all, you’re one of a few and it’s a good problem to have. How you take that problem and transform it into a positive solution for your company depends on how well you keep people interested and engaged.


Contact Us today to speak with one of our Recruitment Specialists and let us help you make 2022 a year where build your team with stronger talent!


Photo Credit: Human resources photo created by katemangostar – www.freepik.com

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