Expand talent pool with candidate ‘recycling’

When hiring, you often run across great candidates who just don’t fit the job or your organization. But instead of simply saying “No and goodbye,” some employers are passing along candidates they can’t use to other organizations that need them—even in the same industry.

“Candidate recycling is a new approach to networking,” says hiring consultant Scott Wintrip, author of High Velocity Hiring. “When you have a group of businesses looking out for one another, you’re far more likely to get the talent you need as soon as you need it.”

Why share talent, your most important asset? Competition is healthy for business, and it’s a signal that an industry is viable and creating enough business opportunities for everyone.

“Competitors who view the business landscape in this manner are frequently open to talent-sharing agreements,” says Wintrip. “And these companies are successful because they help match the right talent with the right jobs.”

Where do you begin? Follow Wintrip’s three steps:

Interview Bootcamp D

Step No. 1: Identify the types of talent you can recycle. Most employers see a pattern in the type of people they attract but can’t hire. This talent could be perfect for another company. Send them over with a referral.

Step No. 2: Determine which partners are a good fit. Like networking among professionals in the same field, candidate recycling is reciprocal. You share your surplus talent with them, and they share with you. Begin networking by reaching out to prospective partners, likely in your industry. Offer to share your recycled talent and ask them to do the same.

Step No. 3: Keep the talent flowing. Check with your partners every month—it helps keep the recycling arrangement in the forefront of partners’ minds.

“A key component of networking is helping others out,” says Wintrip. “Candidate recycling is a natural extension of that generosity and it really pays off for everyone involved.”