Dwelling On the Employee That Got Away, Won't Help Your Recruitment Plans, Do This Instead

Michaela Coll
Posted by in Human Resources

We’ve all made decisions that we look back on and think to ourselves, “Did I make the right choice?” 

This line of thought is usually clouded with regret and complicated feelings. However, it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if you’re dwelling on the employee that got away. Instead of dwelling on what could have been, use this experience to your advantage. 

Establish and personalize communication. Let candidates not chosen to move further with your company know right away, preferably though a personalized email or phone call. By treating this individual with respect and showing them you value their time, they will be more likely to remain in contact with you and recommend your company as a worthy place of employment to the people they know. 

Connect on social media. Our world is so interconnected with social media that you can keep in touch with just about anybody. Connect with candidates that may have stood out to you during the recruitment process via LinkedIn and track their career progress. If you see that they are making moves within your industry, you can offer them a role at your company when one becomes available that you feel would be a great fit for them. 

Create a reminder system. Utilize your company’s applicant tracking system to set up yearly reminders. If the one that got away is still thriving, use this reminder to give them a call and see what options are available for them to work at your company when the time comes. You can also use your ATS to periodically look up candidates your company did not choose to move further with and see how their careers have progressed since. 

Revise your recruitment process. If possible, think about new questions you can ask candidates that will showcase their skillset and experience better or in a different way so that candidates can shine more during the interview process. Try to branch out to more people like the one that got away by brainstorming event ideas that will attract people like them, like college job fairs. 

Remind yourself of the stellar employees you have hired. It’s always easier to focus on the negatives and the “what ifs.” Remind yourself of the fantastic employees you have hired and think about all the positive impacts they’ve since made on your business. You can’t let the one or few employees that got away take away from the acknowledgement of all the successful hires who have done great work. 

All these steps will not only establish a healthy relationship with the employee that got away and possibly lead to future employment with them, but it will also encourage those not chosen for employment at your company to recommend your business to friends and family—both as a client and for possible employment. 


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch