Guest Post: The Rejection Industry – @James_Mayes #truDublin

I’ve been a strong supporter of the #TRU series of the events from the start. I’m delighted to be heading over to Dublin for Bill’s next event, and once again, I’ll be running a track. Those who’ve followed the events in the past will know I’ve often contributed in this way, usually focussed on use of Twitter from one angle or another. This time though, will be different.

I recently joined tech start-up BraveNewTalent. My role here is multi-faceted, for which I’m very appreciative – it allows for involvement across the firm, whilst also supporting outside engagement. As a result, I was recently at another HR industry event – leading me to write a short post on whether, based on energy expended, the Recruitment industry should rebrand itself the Rejection industry.

I suggest in that piece that the rejection aspect of recruitment is one which has a high brand-impact (especially for consumer brands) and is something which use of social media platforms could help to address.

Therein lies the focus I’ll be taking with my track for #TRUDublin. It only takes a little thought to realise how a poor recruitment (rejection) experience impacts brand values for someone who is also a consumer, thus ensuring the cost of rejecting that candidate is raised further when including the (sales) revenue you’ll no longer have access to and the marketing spend previously focussed on that consumer which is now to no avail.

Consider then, what can be done to address this? There’s plenty of evidence to suggest candidates drawn from a talent community, rather than a more traditional transactional recruitment exchance, outperform at assessment and are more likely to accept a job offer. This then, is a more effective model (if anyone wants a BraveNewTalent case study, please let me know, I’d be delighted to talk further!).

For the purposes of this track though, I don’t want to look at talent communities producing successful candidates – I want to look at those left behind. Maybe they’re rejected as unsuitable, maybe they’re not ready yet, maybe your hiring requirements changed. Regardless, they joined your community and you have the ability to continue talking to them. Surely to do so would send a far stronger message than the simple “Thanks, but no thanks”.

What can be offered? All kinds of relevant content. You may have rejected the candidate from a specific post – but there’s always the possibility you’ll consider them again in future. Even more likely, the possibility you’ll consider someone else they know. How many times have you heard the phrase referral recruiting?

If someone is part of a community, you can continue to offer them useful information about your industry sector, or the development cycle of a particular type of career. Depending on your choice of community platform, you can deliver these messages to the whole community – or target a relevant subset, based on filtering or segmentation. For those you might look to hire at some point in future, perhaps a mentoring programme might be appropriate. Regardless, they are ALL jobseekers, and it’s very rare any candidate gives the perfect interview.

Whatever you decide you can offer, at least offer SOMETHING. Simply closing the door when they’ve taken the time to investigate your brand is insufficient. Need more support or budget? Engage with your marketing department. If your community grows to a healthy size, they’ll have suitable incentive to help you.

That’s where I’m at so far. I have a myriad of thoughts on the subject, and I think social recruiting is really only seeing the tip of the iceberg so far. Let’s pull a great track together in Dublin and see if diving in allows us to get a glimpse of the rest of this particular iceberg.

Sláinte mhaith!


James Mayes

Brave New Talent

Buy Tickets For #TruDublin

5 comments on “Guest Post: The Rejection Industry – @James_Mayes #truDublin

  1. Hi James

    Great post and also good to hear you are heading Dublin way – see you there!

    I agree with your comments – I always say to clients of our Tribepad Talent Community platform that the elixir of their recruitment process and candidate experience is the candidate who hasn’t been successful is still “brand-positive” based on their experience / conversation and what they got out of their community. We all know that jobseekers are also consumers so giving them a service (even if the end result isn’t what they wanted) is critical – having this long tail viewpoint can only be good for business survival.

    The content within a talent community platform can go a long way to show candidates how to improve themselves and actually have seen this first hand with one of our clients.

    Prior to Tribepad being installed an internal jobseeker was looking to move overseas and had been rejected from a couple of roles at the first hurdle – she joined the internal talent community, consumed some articles, watched some videos, spoke to some other internal jobseekers and from that re-applied and was successful in finding that job abroad – we have a wonderful letter of thanks from her and how much the community helped her to be successful in her job search.

    Its a really interesting subject that has lots of different challenges – I will be also running a track at #TruDublin but will definately make a point of joining in this conversation.

    fheiceann tú sa bharra!!

    Tribepad Talent Community

  2. Hi James

    Interesting post and an important subject, but is the answer to this a reality or a utopian dream? SME recruitment firms get hundreds (thousands?) of applications per month. Where do you start with rejecting unsuitable applicants? Recruitment firms can’t be a free career advice service to all and sundry. If recruitment companies went into detailed analysis for every unsusccessful applicant, I’m pretty sure they’d all go bust in weeks as there would be no time left in the working day.

    If however you are talking about candidates that have been for an interview with a client, then this opens up a whole new can of worms. We all know how difficult it is getting verbal feedback from a client on an unsuccesful applicant. If you are lucky enough to get more than one line, on occasions the feedback given would probably result in a lawsuit so it has to be amended to suit. Good recruiters will naturally mentor the best candidates anyway, knowing that they form part of a candidate base that they would be able to represent. Where do you draw the line with those that you know are never going to be able to get a job through an agency because companies just won’t pay a fee for them? Would you introduce a tier system?

    The business case put forward above would be fantastic if you’re able to spend somebody else’s money proving it doesn’t make commercial sense. Let me know how you get on 🙂

    • Part of developing a talent community can be NOT offering a job out. Offering people the chance to access materials from a company, the chance to hear about new jobs. Of course, if you’re collecting good data as you go, then when jobs are released or assessment events announced, you’ll be able to segment and target subsets of the community according to your needs, not the entire community. Of course, this is probably more of interest to end-clients than agencies in the middle – but who knows how this will develop. The transactional recruiting model has been with us for many years – social & community recruiting are still very young. I’d expect if there are agency benefits to be found, there are sharp enough people in that market to find them!

  3. Agree with that, and this is where you and Lisa come in handy for end users.

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