How to leverage the power of "silver medalist" candidates

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By The Fetcher Team

How to leverage the power of "silver medalist" candidates

7 mins read

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They’re called silver medalists, but they’re actually a golden opportunity for recruiters. Your silver medalists are one of the keys to hiring more efficiently, but building and maintaining these relationships does take effort and finesse.

In our recent webinar with Recruiting Brainfood, our host Hung Lee and panelists discussed the rise of silver medalist candidates and how to harness the power of this segment of their talent pools. Read on to get the highlights from their conversation, plus the link to watch the full session!

Who are silver medalist candidates?

Silver medalists are the candidates that weren’t hired, but made it to the final rounds of your hiring process. Usually, it’s minor details that separate the gold medalists that were hired from those that become silver medalists.

Silver medalists are also known as runners-up or B-players. Those in the HR space also use the term talent rediscovery to speak to the broader practice of starting a new search from a pool of existing prospects. Talent rediscovery includes those prospects that were disqualified before the offer stage.

To drive success with runners-up, don’t underestimate their value or pigeonhole them into one specific role. Keep an open mind in terms of their potential.

“When I’m interviewing candidates, I’m not just thinking about them for the particular job that we’re talking about at that moment. I’m thinking about all the other positions I have now, and that I can see in the future,” said Dubi Ben-Shoham, Head of Talent Acquisition at Socotra.

What are the benefits of working with silver medalists?

Silver medalist candidates are valuable because they’ve already gone through your hiring process; they are already aware of your company and what it offers. And, candidates that made it closer to the offer stage have shown that they are great fits.

In the event you re-open the same role or post a new, similar role, you can pull from your pool of silver medalists, rather than start the entire hiring process over. They’ve shown interest before and they are likely to be interested again! This all adds up to less legwork and less time on your side, and can lead to faster, less expensive hires.

“Your silver medalists should be treated like potential future gold medalists,” said Wendy Landaverde, Senior Technical Recruiter at Magnite.

How do you keep silver medalist candidates warm?

Keep the enthusiasm with silver medalists high so that when the time is right, you can pick up right where you left off and quickly move them across the final line. Our panelists on our recent webinar shared their tips for keeping silver medalists informed and engaged:

  • Give them ways to continue interacting with you. This includes social media profiles, career pages, events, and specific contacts they can reach out to with questions.

  • Set reminders to follow up. This could be in your email, your calendar, or in your recruiting platforms. “I’ll snooze candidates in our ATS, Lever, for various periods of time depending on what I think will happen,” adds Dubi. “Then I reach out to let them know I’m going to send another email in three months, etc. and we’ll pick it up from there.”

  • Share candidates – and give attribution to others for sharing candidates too. Whether at any agency or on an internal recruiting team, collaborating with others when a candidate is right for another role that you don’t own goes a long way to building trust with that person. With a candidate-centric approach, your ultimate goal is to get them into the right role.

  • Share feedback with them whenever possible. "Transparency goes a long way," said Wendy. "I share as much feedback as I can, and 9 times out of ten, they really appreciate that honesty. It really helps build that relationship because now they trust you." Feedback is not only helpful to the candidate, it also makes them much more likely to want to continue the relationship with your company.

  • Avoid auto-generated touchpoints for later-stage candidates. If your candidate has already had multiple interviews and completed assessments, they've already invested a lot of time into the recruitment process. A generic rejection email tells them you don't value or respect their time. The panelists agreed that a phone call or highly personalized message is the best way to handle rejection with silver medalists.

“Pay them the respect for the time they’ve put in, and they will remember that,” said Mark Tortorici, Sourcing Manager at Meta.

How can recruiting tools help to leverage silver medalist candidates?

As Hung pointed out, maintaining and engaging with your silver medalist talent pool is much easier than it used to be.

“Back in the day, when we were just getting into the internet…you couldn't do any mail merges or segmentation. The workload to keep in touch with a silver medalist was way higher, but now, you can segment them into a system, put them on an email schedule, and do some automation,” added Hung.

Now, tech platforms like ATS and CRM systems make pipeline management and organization straightforward, so recruiters can easily segment silver medalists and add them to outreach. By drawing from your existing talent pool, you'll spend less time sourcing new candidates and more time creating a great candidate experience for the connections you've aleady made.

Fetcher’s Directory and Campaign features also provide an easy way to create targeted sequences for silver medalists candidates. We make it simple to invite them to your events, share new roles with them, and give them an inside look at your company’s culture. Want to see how? Schedule a time with our team for a personalized demo of Fetcher.

Watch the full session with Hung, Dubi, Wendy, and Mark below!

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