how to keep unsuccessful candidates warm

How to keep unsuccessful candidates ‘warm’

And no, I’m not talking about woolly hats or cranking the heating up. What I’m discussing in the article is how to keep unsuccessful candidates ‘warm’ when you don’t currently have a suitable vacancy but they might be a good fit for future positions.

Most HR managers have been here before. You have a vacancy, candidates apply and you pick out the best fit for your business. But what happens to the applicants that were good quality candidates and might be suitable for future vacancies but didn’t quite make the cut this time around?

For the main part, many businesses will send a ‘thanks, but you weren’t successful on this occasion’ letter and let the trail go cold. Although standard practice, your missing out on keeping hold of the quality candidates who expressed an interest in working for your company and they’ll simply move on to another business.

But what if you could keep candidates warm so that when another vacancy arises you’ve got a ready-made talent pool that you can call on? Here’s my top tips for making this happen and keeping unsuccessful candidates engaged.

Personalise their experience
Although they may have not been successful for a current role, when you give them the news make it very clear that although their application hasn’t been taken further this time you are still interested in their skills and experience for future vacancies.

Take a few moments to give them some personalised constructive feedback on their CV or interview and how their strengths may be suitable for other positions and ask that you can contact them when such a vacancy arises.

Keep in touch
Following on from the communication above, ask them if they’d like to connect with you via LinkedIn, Facebook or any other social media platform you use to promote your vacancies. This way, they’ll be the first to know when any new openings become available.

On the other side of the coin, you’ll also be able to keep track of any career moves, skill updates or qualifications gained by the candidate.

For more information on how to keep unsuccessful candidates warm or starting a talent pool, speak to the team at Appointments today on 01782 338787 or email

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Emma Bonfiglio

About the author, Emma Bonfiglio

Managing Director at Appointments, Emma has spent 19 years building up a stellar reputation for commercial recruitment excellence across a variety of industries and sectors. There’s no staffing challenge Emma hasn’t encountered and her insight into the recruitment landscape has assisted countless clients achieve their goals over the years.

Specialising in the legislative and procedural side of business operations and through her extensive knowledge and continual training, Emma has a wealth of legal and contractual recruitment knowledge to help advise and support organisations of any size and in any industry.