Have you ever considered the hidden treasures that lie within your shortlisted candidates? As hiring managers, it’s easy to focus solely on filling immediate job openings, but what about those individuals who didn’t quite make the cut?

Today, I want to explore the possibility of keeping in touch with these candidates, even if they were not successful in securing the position.

Traditionally, organisations tend to send out a standard “Unfortunately you have not been successful” letter, leaving candidates feeling disheartened and more importantly, disconnected from the business they were so interested in! But what if you approached this differently? What if you recognised the value in every candidate who showed potential and acknowledged the positive attributes they bring to the table?

Building relationships with shortlisted candidates can yield numerous benefits for both the individuals and your organisation.

Here are a few reasons why maintaining connections with them is worth considering:

Future Hiring Opportunities

The job market is dynamic, and your organisation’s needs may change over time. By staying in touch with promising candidates, you create a pool of potential talent for future openings. Maintaining a positive relationship means you won’t have to start from scratch when new positions arise, saving time and resources.

Networking and Referrals

Candidates who reached the final stages of your selection process have likely invested time and effort to understand your organisation. They may have established connections in the industry, and by keeping in touch, you tap into their network. Furthermore, even if they don’t land a position with your company, they might refer other highly qualified individuals who could be a perfect fit

Positive Brand Image

Treating candidates with respect and kindness, even when delivering disappointing news, reflects positively on your organization’s brand. Word-of-mouth travels fast, and candidates who had a positive experience may share their impressions with others, attracting potential talent and enhancing your employer brand.

Personal Development

Each candidate you interact with has unique skills, experiences, and perspectives. Engaging with them even after the hiring process allows you to learn from their expertise, industry insights, and personal journeys. This exchange of knowledge can contribute to your professional growth and broaden your understanding of the talent market.

Talent Pipeline

Building a strong talent pipeline is crucial for long-term success. By nurturing relationships with shortlisted candidates, you create a pipeline of skilled individuals who are familiar with your organisation and may become future ambassadors or advocates.


So, how can we ensure that candidates feel valued and appreciated, even in the face of rejection?

Consider personalising your communication, providing constructive feedback, and expressing your interest in maintaining a connection. Offer them the opportunity to stay in touch , keep them advised of what the business is doing through professional networking platforms where you can share industry insights, job openings, and updates about your organisation.

Remember, every candidate has invested time and effort into the application process, demonstrating their interest in your organisation. By recognising their worth and staying connected, you contribute to a positive candidate experience, nurture a talent pool, and enhance your reputation.

Let’s embrace the idea of finding the treasures that exist within our shortlisted candidates. Together, we can build meaningful connections, cultivate a thriving talent community, and shape a brighter future for our organisations.