Ever heard that second place is just the first place loser? Well as most professional athletes will tell you: a second place finish is more often than not the prelude to winning the competition. A similar approach applies to hiring: your number 2 candidate is a hire-able asset you can’t afford to lose. Those individuals who match requirements but aren’t selected due to limitations in positions – who are qualified candidates, not receiving an offer – can be considered “Silver Medalists.”

Inside a low volume high quality and unique workplace, an opening for 20 different positions will most likely have 36 different qualified candidates.¹ That means after your 20 hires, you’ll still have 16 different qualified candidates who are Silver Medalists. Assuming that just 25% of those are qualified for a future position, you’ll have 4 qualified candidates and a 11% head-start on recruitment. Change those numbers to reflect similar work, and you can have up to a 33% recruitment advantage.

This massive increase in recruitment can’t be underlined enough. In the current labour market focused on the innovative and creative economy, having even an 11% head-start on your competitors and market on talent means a quicker time-to-hire and a quicker productivity in the position.

So how do you go about engaging Silver Medalists? Your organization will need to develop “soft no’s” that go to those not chosen for a hire, and focus on continually selling the company and its employment value to them even after a hiring decision has been made. Feedback on strengths and areas on improvement can also increase candidate perception.

Regardless of the method chosen, re-engaging with Silver Medalists will provide real recruitment benefits for your next hire. While the candidate might finally get a gold medal, you’ll be the winner.



¹Based on an average of 1.8 qualified candidates per open position