Know how to Cultivate Referrals from Rejected Candidates

Looking at the current scenario of the market, employee referrals play a cornerstone role of any sound talent acquisition strategy, especially when upwards of 24%+ of your hires come from referrals. But no one thinks about those talent pipeline who didn’t even get hired. In the current talent market, where the competition for qualified workers is tougher than ever, the value of candidate referrals can be invaluable.

So, what exactly inspires candidates to refer qualifies and right fit colleagues and friends to you, specially when there is no benefit of doing that and you will have rejected most of these candidates possibly when before they’ve made a referral? The only answer is a respectful, high-quality candidate experience.

How To foster Candidate Referrals

The job is the primary driver of referrals which states your candidate experience closes behind when it comes to motivating people in your talent pipeline to refer others. It all depends upon the experience you provide, which enhances candidates significantly increase their relationships in all sorts of ways. That includes applying to their jobs in the future, purchasing their products or services, and influencing the opinions and purchases of others — even when they’ve been turned down for a job. That’s a nifty set of outcomes for providing positive candidate experiences. Here’s the remarkable part: Nearly 90% of these individuals are rejected for the jobs they applied to. That’s how powerful a positive candidate experience can be. 

Talent Board’s latest research reveals several key actions you can take at various stages of the candidate experience to generate referrals which includes:

Being transparent about salary as early in the candidate experience as possible. Pay transparency is an important topic right now, as it should be. Research has shown that when pay transparency is lacking, employees are 50% more likely to leave their company, and hiring new talent becomes exponentially harder because nearly two-thirds of the country’s adults say that salary is one of their most important decision-making factors when looking for a new job. 

Sharing salary information in job descriptions, on company careers sites, during the application process, and during interviews are all becoming more common — and the earlier in the recruiting process the better, as salary is a deciding factor in whether many individuals will even consider a job. 


Giving and asking for feedback at the interview stage. When employers gave specific feedback to candidates, candidates’ willingness to refer others increased by 24%. And  when employers solicited feedback from candidates after an interview, candidates were 74% more likely to refer others. 

Read This Also: Are Half of Your Employees Unmotivated?

Keeping candidates informed post-interview.  Holding interviews for a long period and stumble on the clarity of their communication is not right as candidates’ willingness to refer others was 78% higher when they were kept apprised of their status and given clear information about their potential job fit following their interviews.

Making a timely job offer. Time is always a crucial factor in recruiting, especially in today’s highly competitive talent market. An employer that is slow to make an offer to a desirable candidate risk losing that person to a nimbler competitor. If you make a job offer within one week of a final interview, data shows that your candidate’s willingness to refer others increases 79%. Improving your candidate communications will also help to generate referrals. This includes improving the frequency with which you reach out to candidates, the speed with which you answer their questions and respond to inquiries, the amount of honest feedback you provide, your use of chatbots and other AI-based smart technologies, and the degree to which you share details about your company’s mission, culture, and work environment.

If you have an employee referral program, it basically turns your employees into recruiters. A quality candidate experience does the same thing but with your candidates — people who’ve touched some part of your talent attraction process and are motivated or inspired by it. When you think about the sheer numbers of those individuals, that’s an awful lot of potential recruiters who could be out there advocating for your employment brand.

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