Create a quality relation with ideal talents!

Realize your potential

Did you know that a medium-large employer in Sweden (between 1000 – 5000 employees) receives approximately 14.000 job applications each year in medium, some of them spontaneous and some others to a specific vacancy seen on a jobsite? Many knows but what most fail to realize is the massive potential there is hidden in your created application streams. As a client of mine said a year back: “These are actual people who have not only visited our marketing materials, they have become interested enough to create an application and showing a desire to become one with us and part of our organization. The potential is massive.” We could only agree. Out of all the campaigns we perform each year, visits to career fairs, universities, talent events, working with talent networks etc., we have but one target and that is to identify, build relations with, and employ top talent – suitable for our organizations and with the hope of a larger percentage of those being high achievers and getting a long-term commitment to stay, perform and grow in our organization.


Missing out on the potential

Employers globally, have become much smarter the last 15 years in how they communicate with talents. The amounts invested into building relations with their next top performers have grown extensively. Yet, these sums spent on events, career fairs, employer branding advertising etc., are activities meant to attract and build a a position at the market in comparison to recruitment competitors. A vast majority of employers fail to handle applicants in a good enough way to build a sustainable relationship, instead most results in disappointment. And one has to remember, the applicants are the talents who became interested in your messaging, meaning those who are in favour of your EVP (Employer value proposition). If not, you have to look over your EVP and messaging.

Since most applications end up in a disappointing result, employers fail to capitalize on the vast potential hiding in their application flows. How come? Why does not every applicant end up in a positive sustainable relationship with us as employer? There are several reasons:

  1. Screening methods; Ironically we market our organization as a foundation of values and openly show our employees, what they desire and what personifies our people, our vision and mission. But we don’t recruit that way. This leads to us not knowing if the resumés we lay in the trash can vs those we choose to proceed with were those with a higher match between their preferences towards your actual organizational culture. This means that we already in the screening process fail to identify the talents we -should- build a relationship with for either the current vacancy or for future vacancies.
  2. Vacancy-specific recruitment; When talents become interested of an organization they try to find a good point of entry to become part of it and thus often end up applying for a vacancy which sounds interesting and in line with their profile. However, talents does not always know which parts of the organization would suit them best and neither do they know how they could grow internally and thus unable to tell of their long-term commitment to the organization. This leads to talents most often being screened on their suitability for the current vacancy only and not their suitability for the organization as a whole. This in turn leads to many ideal talents being rejected for various reasons such as needing another year before having the right skillset, not a clear profile for the current vacancy etc. A majority of employers lack good tracking skills or tools for these matters which means ideal talents are just rejected like any other talent without neither the employer’s nor the talent’s knowledge. This leads to the talent feeling rejected and having been told: “You’re not for us.” and many of them end up not trying to apply again. Someone who was not ideal for the employer should never had applied for you in the first place. But what is the cost related to rejecting someone who is an identified ideal talent for your organization and then left with a disappointed feeling and not applying again? The cost is huge, you could always identify a new talent but the cost for identifying someone who’se ideal is vast. In the end, it means you placing your own money in the trash can, not simply a talent. Why invest so much in attraction and employer marketing if you’re not going to capitalize on your application flows? It is a waste of your time, the talents time, your money and a reduced brand position towards your preferred recruitment target group.
  3. Rejection with no relation; Many employers have understood that when talents enter your office and meets one of your recruiters it is important to treat them with respect in order to deliver a good image of yourself and increasing the chance for a good relationship. What is highly remarkable is that so many employers fail to realize that the expectations of talents grows when they are called to an interview and even if not called to an interview they want relevant feedback. In a majority of cases most talents are not given a proper explanation or advice of what they could do better or on what basis they weren’t the chosen candidate for the vacancy. Instead employers still today reject applications with standard e-mails saying: “Thank you but no thank you. Good luck.” This communication leads to a majority of candidates not applying again. It is remarkable how employers still today have not understood that also in the rejection-phase one need to provide the candidate with thorough information, advice, help and communication in their continuous career search in order to leave them with a feeling of being handled respectfully and hence increasing the chance for making a sustainable relationship also with the rejected applicants.


And remember; If you hire one candidate, you’ve rejected 99. What do you think provide you with the best marketing impact through people’s existing network at social media and with friends – treating 1 person well or 99? The answer is obvious.


How to create a quality relation with ideal talents!

  1. Identify ideal talents; Primarily it is important to identify the “fruit” of your marketing efforts. Every employer branding activity performed, be it a job advertisement, a career video or talent event results in the outcome of incoming applications. The better performed and in line with your -actual- Employer value proposition (EVP), the higher the percentage of incoming applications will be ideal talents truly suiting your organizational culture. Why spend this money if you don’t intend to capitalize on it? Identify which of the talents who are ideal for your culture and see to that you choose which to keep for a specific vacancy and which to build a sustainable relationship with for future applications. In times of talent shortage, your relationships with ideal talents will become a key factor in maintainging your industry growth and beating your competitors.
  2. Communicate; When talents are identified as ideal for your organizational culture then tell them about it: “You are a true Google-person” and if they do not suit the current vacancy tell them that too: “You are a true Google-person and unfortunately you do not suit this vacancy but we for sure know you will suit others and we would like to grab the opportunity to keep in touch and see to that you can become part of Google anytime soon.” If a talent is ideal for the organization but lack a desired skillset for the role he/she would most likely suit, tell them this too: “You are a true Google-person and we hope that you will become part of Google in the future. Most likely you would do a tremendous work in Sales but in order to gain an entry in such a position, you need to improve your online marketing skills. We could suggest courses or methods where you can do this.” It is simply not goof enough that the organization know. You must let the individuals know as well. Relations are a two-way-road. Only when both feel equally sure about the intentions, trust is built and upon trust every sustainable relation rests and grows stronger.
  3. Guide, support & track; Every talent has to be treated the same way throughout the process, also in the rejection-phase. During the marketing phase, the screening phase and rejection phase you must be available to answer questions or have tools doing this for you. If a talent is not ideal for your organization, remember that he might know those who are and tell a bad story about your treatment of his application. This is not something you want and should do all you can to prevent. Provide every talent with a direction to what their next step should be if not desired in your organization, show them possibilities and that you care for their career development. Give them an experience they can share with their network at established social media channels, something which make other people respect you. Aiding talents understand the alternatives they have or suggestions for next steps if they know what they want to achieve will grant you a great foundation for building a relationship with someone even if rejected. And those who are ideal with your culture but not for the vacancy and therefore rejected – tell them that, provide them with career advice making them suit into your own organization for the future and track their progress. See how their resumé grows over the coming years and offer them a role which suits your organization when the time is right. Why buy new talent relations through marketing and advertisements at the market when you can utilize your application flows better? Avoid to spend massive amounts of money for only disappointing even more talents – and instead capitalize on what you have. Ironically, today employers spend money to disappoint talents. Don’t. It’s time to build relations, sustainable ones.


Daniel Sonesson

Jobla is an online tool which helps employers identify, communicate with and track ideal cultural matched talents. Get more from your applications with Jobla.


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