How to Effectively Leverage Your Candidate Database

Published on 3/9/2020 by David Webb
Last Updated on 12/2/2022

Depending on the size and age of your organization, you have potentially hundreds -- if not thousands -- of candidates in your database. And most of them are dormant candidates. Maybe they never interviewed, or perhaps they interviewed and didn’t get the job. For staffing firms and other talent management organizations, they may have been placed once but never redeployed. 

No matter how you slice it, though, the fact is that most organizations today are sitting in a goldmine in their candidate database.

Just think of how much you spend each month on…

💰 Your ATS. It likely is your biggest recruiting investment.

💰 Job postings. Whether it’s on sites like Indeed and LinkedIn, or it’s spent on social media ads promoting your job postings, you’re probably spending thousands of dollars every month on this component of new candidate acquisition.

💰Referral programs. Another tool in the new candidate acquisition arsenal is also another expense.

And when you consider that a majority of “new” candidates have previously engaged with your business, the opportunity becomes bigger. How many tens of thousands of dollars have you spent to entice candidates who aren’t really “new” at all?

Take advantage of your existing candidate data

While new candidate acquisition should, of course, remain a priority, allocating some time and resources toward re-engaging dormant candidates could significantly boost productivity, reduce direct recruiting costs and also improve core metrics like time to fill (and more).

So what are you waiting for? 

Here are three important tips to help you effectively re-engage your dormant candidates:

1. Leverage your technologies

Chances are you either just read a text, or you’re thinking about checking your phone. It’s okay, we all do it! Candidates today expect you to communicate with them on your preferred platform -- and for most of us, that means texting. 

Your recruiters are probably already texting candidates, but it’s difficult to determine ROI and be consistent in your messaging that way. Instead, consider investing in a texting platform. Here at BrightMove, our ATS integrates with texting technology, allowing you to leverage your candidate data to schedule and send text messages.

For dormant candidates specifically, you could send a text confirming their contact information, asking them if they’re still open to new opportunities, or simply reaching out to say “hi” and reopen the line of communication. You can schedule these messages in advance with your texting platform, improving productivity so that your recruiters can jump in when a human touch is needed. 

2. Understand your audience

Candidate engagement needs more than a “one size fits all” approach. When thinking about how you will communicate with dormant talent, it could be helpful to organize candidates into categories like:

Didn’t convert

This category would include candidates who submitted resumes but were never interviewed. How you approach these candidates should be unique, since they don’t have much (if any) personal experience with your company. You could start the messaging with a “happy birthday” text at the appropriate time (using the candidate data in your ATS as noted above). From there, the door is open and you could follow up with some of the ideas mentioned in the previous section. 

Almost on board

These candidates came in for one or more interviews with your company (or participated in a Zoom or Skype interview). They worked their way through the process, but either turned down your job offer or were not selected for the position. You could reach out to these candidates, again, by leveraging the data in your ATS. If they applied for a marketing job and you have a new marketing opening, for example, you could schedule or send a text message asking these candidates if they’re still interested in marketing opportunities. 

Boomerang talent

For direct employers, these are former employees who left on good terms and are open to returning (which is a huge trend right now in a tight talent market). For staffing firms, you could call these “alumni,” candidates who have worked with your organization and for whatever reason, no longer work with you. Reaching out to verify contact information is a nice way to open the door here, or perhaps a personal message from your recruiter asking how things are going. Use tone and language that appropriately reflects the fact you have a previous working relationship to ensure a response.

3. Be human

While you are leveraging technology to help re-engage these dormant candidates, it’s important to remember the human element. While you can leverage your ATS to pull candidate data and even schedule some messages, either directly or through your texting platform, be sure to also use that data to personalize messages wherever possible. Resist sending generic, mass messages or blasts, which are a huge turnoff. It’s critical that your messages feel personal. And of course, when candidates respond, it’s time for your recruiters to step in and do what they do best! 

BrightMove helps you maximize your recruiting ROI

The right ATS serves as the central hub of your recruiting efforts, maximizing your investment and your results. Here at BrightMove, we built our platform from the ground up with your needs in mind. We are constantly adding and refining features to help you land game-changing talent for your organization. To learn more and see BrightMove in action, schedule a demo with our team today.

About the Author, David Webb

David is the CEO of BrightMove and is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for creating successful businesses. Over his 25+ year career, David has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of computer science, data analytics & business transformation. Starting in 1995, David worked with his best friend, Jimmy Hurff, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. David is the primary architect of BrightMove and has an active role in the product's evolution to this day. From then to now, David has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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