Why It’s Important to Build Relationships with Candidates (Even If They Don’t Get Hired)

Luke DoublerUncategorized

by Madelon Deming

Importance of Building Relationships with Candidates: The 6 things every recruiter needs to know to build a winning network

No longer is recruiting only about filling job positions for companies. Now it’s about creating trust and long-term relationships with your clients and candidates, even when they don’t get hired.


Because having a long list of vibrant, talented candidates means you can meet the needs of your clients. “It is these relationships that will help you to maintain a meaningful talent pool, ensuring that you can identify, develop, and attract the right talent, at the right time.”

Here are six reasons it’s important to build relationships with candidates, even if they don’t get hired right away from one of your clients:

1. Candidates could provide future referrals.

As we’ve seen with the phenomenon of social media, people are extremely connected these days. Most candidates are part of the largest social networks on the planet, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. This means either they know a lot of people or they have access to a lot of people. So, how does this help a recruiter? Word-of-mouth marketing!

If you’ve worked with a candidate, created a bond, and made an amazing impression on them, then they are likely to sing your praises to their social networks online and to their friends and family offline. When people go through an experience that creates such a positive, lasting impression, they want to tell everyone about it. Then, they become your brand ambassador and may start sending referrals your way, expanding your reach and network.

2. Candidates could fill other job openings down the road.

Even if your job seeker didn’t land the job now, it doesn’t mean all is lost and that communication with them should stop. Continue cultivating your relationship because they may be able to fill another job opening with a different company or with the same company down the road. Don’t think of candidates as a “one and done” opportunity. There is a lot more potential to uncover as you get to know them and build rapport.

3. Improves the candidate experience.

Just like your clients are looking for top-notch talent, job seekers are looking for a positive candidate experience from the recruiters they work with. They want to feel special and taken care of, not like another number in a long list of other candidates. The way they are treated tells them a lot about your company and brand. And with the way negative feedback can spread like wildfire, especially on social media, you must make a good impression on candidates. Negative reviews or comments could destroy a company and their reputation.

People who have a positive candidate experience are more likely to accept job offers, reapply in the future, and tell others about it, which helps to grow your talent pool. Ultimately, this will lead to “more applicants, more hires and higher quality of hires, with reduced cost per hire and time to fill.”

4. Boosts the employer’s brand.

Again, when people are treated with respect, care, and consideration, they are likely to write positive reviews, which helps to increase brand awareness and the reputation of the employer. Consequently, when other job seekers read these glowing testimonials, they are likely to inquire about other job opportunities with that company and consumers may become interested in their products or services because they can see how well they treat their employees. It’s a win-win for everyone.

5. Improves your relationship and reputation with your clients.  

Nurturing and periodically checking in with “warm” candidates can help recruiters place people quickly in jobs. You’ve already done the tedious work of learning about the job seeker’s strengths, weaknesses, skills, wants, needs, and preferences. Now all you have to do is present them to your client with the job opening. “Not only does this increase the ROI on the job for yourself, but it also establishes you in your client’s eyes as someone who can make good placements quickly.” Don’t let candidates that didn’t get hired the first time around go cold.

6. Keeps your company at the forefront of the candidate’s mind.

As the famous quote says, “Always leave them wanting more.” When you provide a phenomenal experience the first time around, people will want to return to work with you again. You will be at the top of their mind when they are seeking a job. And today, the average person will change their job 10-15 times during their career. So you want to be the first person they think of when they are looking to change jobs again.Therefore, it’s vital to stay engaged with candidates at every step of the process.