If you’re a recruiter, having your candidate turned down by the client can be very frustrating. This is particularly true if your income is tied to your ability to place a candidate. Most professional recruiters must have thick skin and a determined attitude to overcome these types of disappointments. What may help is to consider that every candidate connection you make builds your network. That’s why it’s so essential to create the best impression possible with every single person you come in contact with. But how can interviewers turn a losing candidate into a winning networking opportunity? Here are some tips. 

Candidate Interviews to Build Your Funnel 

The best recruiters spend years building their networking pipeline. When you start, every candidate that isn’t placed can feel like a disaster. But it helps to recognize that each interview is an opportunity not only to close a deal, which, in this case, is placing a candidate in a job. Each interview you conduct builds a network of people that can lead you to your next candidate. Thinking about the interview in this way can build your confidence even when you’re having a losing a streak. With this in mind, it’s important to conduct each candidate interview as perfectly as possible. Every interview is a step up the ladder toward the perfect network. In the long run, this will make finding the right candidate easier over time. How can you improve your interview process to build your network? 

  • Come prepared for every interview. Give yourself a few minutes before each candidate contact to gather yourself mentally, and review the job description and candidate profile. 
  • Master the art of asking open-ended questions and listen more than you talk. We’ve all been in interviews where the interviewer spends way too much time on themselves. Don’t be that recruiter. 
  • When your candidate isn’t selected, let them know as quickly as possible. Don’t send them an email, pick up the phone, or do a Zoom. Emails are impersonal, and even if you need to send one for your records, if you’ve spoken to the candidate you should always make the extra effort to reach out to them personally. Thank the candidate and apologize for the disappointing news. 
  • Have better follow up than everyone else. All relationships atrophy if you don’t maintain them. This means staying in touch with the best candidates long after the interview process is over. 

Networking like a pro requires the best recruiters to use every opportunity to build a strong cadre of people that they know. Every candidate represents a way for you to build a strong pipeline. If your candidate isn’t selected for an opportunity, pick yourself up and move onto the next one. But don’t forget to maintain the relationship with that candidate as a way to build your network.  

Exelare knows a lot about the recruiting process because we’ve built next-generation applicant tracking software that helps hiring teams improve the efficiency of their candidate networking and hiring. Talk with our team about how we help you increase your time to hire.