More meetings…more candidates…more options…more, more, more. It seems like everywhere we go there is a need for “more.” Hiring managers are asking for more options, more interviews, and more proof that the candidate you’re showing them is the right one, but is “more” always the best option?

In all honesty, no. Sometimes you don’t need more. Sometimes you have all of the data and candidates you need.

On average, each corporate job receives 250 applicants per job, 4-6 of those are called for the interview process, and only one of them gets the job, so as a recruiter you end up with 249 new people who are already interested in working for the company at your fingertips.

When you are dealing with a large internal data source like an ATS or CRM, you need to be able to apply talent intelligence to find who you’re looking for. Letting candidates get lost in the black hole of a data system results in recruiters needing to do more work than necessary to find the right fit.

The answer is to re-engage.

When Lowe’s re-engaged with candidates in their existing data, over 57% of those who received an email opened it and 37% completed an application. Those numbers were possible due to the fact that they were re-engaging candidates who had already applied before, candidates who had already expressed interest in working for the company.

With re-engagement, recruiters are able to start the conversation with a candidate on an existing foundation. We have a couple of suggestions about how to re-engage well when you’re deciding to reach back out to a past candidate.

Reject with empathy

The first step to positive re-engagement begins with an empathetic rejection from the past job. If candidates are left with a positive experience even if they were rejected, then being contacted again will be a welcome situation. When you have to reject someone, give as much information as you can and be sure to keep them in mind for other positions. If there’s another position open at the time you have to reject them, let them know about it right then! Bringing empathy to a negative conversation will leave the candidate feeling valued and open to being approached again.

Acknowledge the past

Don’t just pretend the awkward rejection didn’t happen! Being honest and transparent about the past is a solid way to build a foundation with the client. If the reason they were rejected (say, they needed to have more experience) is no longer an issue since the time has passed, explain that and explain how they now look like a good fit for the new position.

Be clear

This is one of the tips that we pass on all. the. time. While the candidate has previously applied, they may no longer be interested in the new position. One of the best ways to receive honesty and clear communication is to give it so the candidate feels comfortable reciprocating.

What are your tried and true secrets to re-engaging with past candidates? Let us know on Twitter!