According to a ManpowerGroup survey, nearly seven out of ten employers reported talent shortages in 2021, a 15-year high. With baby boomers retiring in droves and a sequence of extraordinary global events, it appears that organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to attract, hire, and retain high-quality employees.
Moreover, the pandemic also forced many people to rethink the nature and meaning of work itself, which in turn led to what is largely referred to as the “Great Resignation.” A recent poll from TrustRadius found that HR professionals believe today’s workers are more inclined to quit because they’ve found new perspectives on what’s important.
Now that the work from home (WFH) cat has been let out of the bag, employees are demanding more flexibility and autonomy within their roles. Thus, the companies that cannot meet these demands, especially when it comes to positions that need to be filled on location, are struggling to fill their vacancies.
Aside from the scarcity of talent, the process of hiring new employees with the required expertise and qualifications is estimated to cost employers an average of $4,425 per new recruit, with the average time to fill a vacancy being 36 to 42 days. The majority of these costs arise during the sourcing, vetting, and interviewing stages. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand how recruiting new personnel can swiftly deplete a company’s resources.
So, what can employers do to address these concerns and increase the effectiveness of their hiring practices? As it turns out, there is an untapped and often neglected talent pool that could offer a simple solution to these issues, and that pool is called silver medalists.
Who Are Silver Medalists?
Even if a job posting receives dozens of suitable applications, in almost all cases, only one of the candidates will be hired. Silver medalist candidates are those candidates who made it through multiple rounds of the recruiting process but weren’t offered the role.
However, just because these silver medalist candidates didn’t get the job, that doesn’t mean that they are not wholly skilled or qualified for the position.
On the contrary, the candidates who made it through to the later rounds of the hiring process are likely to possess all of the skills, experience, and qualities necessary to succeed in these roles, yet on that particular occasion, for whatever reason, the open position went to a different candidate.
Rather than maintaining relationships with these silver medalist candidates for future vacancies, most companies tend to cut ties with all candidates once someone else is onboarded. When you consider all of the time, effort, and money that goes into screening and interviewing these candidates, it’s clear to see that this results in a huge waste of company resources.
Silver medalists present an excellent opportunity for hiring managers to fuel their recruitment pipeline with high-quality, pre-vetted candidates.
The Benefits of Targeting Silver Medalist Candidates
Let’s take a look at some of the core benefits of engaging silver medalists within your upcoming hiring processes.
They Are Already Familiar With Your Company
Among the most significant advantages of recruiting silver medalists is the simple fact that they are already familiar with your company. They’ve already gone through the recruiting process, met some of the interviewers, and understand what your company has to offer.
Ilit Raz, CEO of Joonko, a company that offers a shared pool of silver medalist candidates from underrepresented sectors, points out that silver medalists “represent some of the most valuable talent available to your company,” adding that “These engaged candidates are more likely to respond and move quickly through the interview process. They know what to expect and they’re already interested in your business. They just need a new opportunity to bring them back to the negotiation table.”
They Can Improve Your Company Culture
Fostering a positive and healthy company culture is a primary goal for business owners. One of the best ways to uplift company culture is through hiring qualified and engaged talent that wants to be there, and who would be a better candidate than a previously vetted silver medalist?
Silver medalists are more likely to eventually become advocates for your company as a result of their onboarding journeys. Yes, you may have turned them away initially, but you kept them in consideration and valued them enough as a unique talent to maintain the relationship and offer them a new position.
In turn, these highly engaged workers will come to the office with enthusiasm, fresh perspectives, and high motivation levels, which every company can stand to benefit from.
Pre-selected to Meet Qualifications
There is no guesswork involved when hiring silver medalists. If you have already vetted and interviewed them, and taken them through several stages of the recruiting process, you likely have a good understanding of their skills and experience level.
“Hiring silver medalists guarantees quality talent because their skills and experiences haven’t changed. If anything, they may have grown during the interim,” explains Raz.
“The average company has a metaphorical gold mine of qualified talent sitting within their ATS, but they don’t utilize it to its full potential,” she adds. “Silver medalist candidates have the skill sets and experience that companies need, they just need to be reengaged and given a new opportunity to shine.”
In light of this, companies may be able to drastically reduce their talent acquisition costs by revisiting their previously vetted candidates without sacrificing quality in the process.
How to Set the Silver Medalist Wagon in Motion
The first step in populating your hiring pipeline with silver medalists is to maintain these relationships in the first place.
You can accomplish this by segmenting silver medalist prospects in your ATS. Keep them apart, then devise a method to nurture them. You can keep them up to date on company news and potential job openings. There are plenty of tools you can use to automate this process..
Alternatively, you can send silver medalists personalized job emails, status updates, and even internal notifications to help cultivate their sense of belonging. This will let them know that you are still interested in them as a potential future employee, which will increase the likelihood of them sending an application when a vacancy opens up.
Lastly, offer a “fast track” application process for silver medalists. Since they have already gone through most of the recruiting process, you don’t need to make them jump through all the hoops a second time. Consider giving them a “bye” in the first few rounds, and then bring them in for the latter stages.
Not Necessarily Second Best
Talent acquisition is hardly an exact science. Seasoned recruiters know that with so many factors informing which candidates ultimately receive job offers for a given position, it’s extremely rare that the other finalists would represent major compromises in terms of qualification and fit. Keep those relationships warm, and your subsequent recruiting needs will become easier over time.
HR Future Staff Writer
Image Source: Burst