Opinion: Silver medalist candidates make the best employees

By Ilit Raz, CEO, Joonko
Candidate sourcing automation combined with silver medalist talent enables hiring teams to quickly fill new job vacancies, argues Ilit Raz, CEO of Joonko

It's getting harder and harder to connect with quality talent. Boomers are retiring en masse, hastened along by the pandemic. Given that today's workforce is mostly Millennials and Gen Xers, companies need to rethink how they attract, recruit, and hire new talent.

The widening skills gap doesn't help matters while businesses struggle to find the right talent that fits their needs. It’s a classic issue of supply not meeting the demand.

That said, there are a variety of ways to ramp up your recruitment efforts. Start with silver medalist candidates. These are the interviewees who made it through several rounds of the hiring process but weren’t chosen for a number of reasons. These silver medalists were competitors but didn’t quite make it across the finish line in time. These candidates are criminally underutilised in the recruitment and hiring process.

Here are the four reasons why your hiring team needs to be looking at silver medalist talent.

1 Engaged candidates

There is one thing unique to silver medalists that makes them even more valuable to recruiters and hiring teams – familiarity. Not only are you familiar with what they have to offer, they know what your company has to offer them. They’ve already done their research on your company, they know how your hiring process works, and, at least at one point, they could see themselves working for your organisation.

For that reason, they represent some of the most valuable talent available to your company. 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.

2 Enhanced employer brand

A positive employer brand is always a boon to any hiring team. While a negative employer brand increases hiring costs, a positive reputation as an employer can reduce the time and money it takes to recruit new employees. This is especially true in the case of silver medalists. Candidates often hear that companies will follow-up with them if there are any new opportunities, but very few actually do.

By reaching out to former candidates with new opportunities, you demonstrate that they made an impression, and you recognise their skills as a professional. Not only that, you have also shown them that your team didn’t forget about them. Even if they’ve moved on to new opportunities, many candidates will feel more positively about your organisation because your team reached out to them.

An organisation that follows up with previous candidates by providing them with new opportunities is bound to generate positive buzz. Invest in the talent already available to your business and reap the results.

3 Guarantee high-quality talent

What’s the main pain point of every hiring team? Difficulty finding and recruiting qualified talent. So why do recruiters and hiring managers waste so much time screening new candidates when they have a pool of pre-verified talent already available to them? Silver medalist candidates are arguably the most qualified for any new role because they were the previous runner up. If your team was impressed by their skills before, then revisiting them as a candidate can only benefit you.

Hiring silver medalists guarantees quality talent because their skills and experiences haven't changed. If anything, they may have grown during the interim. 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. 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.

4 Enrich company culture

Engaged candidates become engaged employees, and we all know how profitable an engaged workforce can be. A highly engaged workforce is 21% more profitable than their competitors with disengaged employees.

When you invest in silver medalist candidates, you demonstrate to your potential and current employees that your organisation cares about developing them as professionals. This creates a company culture that will ultimately give your organisation a competitive advantage. Investing in professional development of all talent – even those you don’t hire – creates an environment where each employee feels valued and recognised for their contributions.

Silver medalists are also more likely to be advocates for your company as a result of their unique hiring process. Today’s jobseekers appreciate a company that offers new opportunities in the place of a typical rejection letter. These highly engaged workers will come to the office with enthusiasm and fresh perspectives, which every company can stand to benefit from.

Engage silver medalists efficiently

Candidate sourcing automation combined with silver medalist talent enables hiring teams to quickly fill new job vacancies. The end result is an efficient hiring process where the best candidates get the job– every single time.

About the author: Ilit Raz is the founder and CEO of Joonko, a diversity recruitment platform that connects world-class companies with high-quality, underrepresented talent. 

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