By Jessica Miller-Merrell

I’m always a little surprised at the amount of money, we as recruiters spend in building relationships, posting jobs and engaging job seekers. We focus on metrics like time to hire, source of hire, but we forget to tap into our most important resource, past candidates. If you rejected a past candidate because they didn’t fit one job opening it doesn’t mean they won’t fit another.

A candidate’s time is very valuable, especially if they’re out of a job and if they take the time to fill out an application and go through the (sometimes) long and drawn out process, they might be a good fit to your company. Those who show zero initiative are the ones who will walk when a better job opportunity arises.

I’ve sourced my own applicant tracking system. It’s incredibly painful, tiresome, and time consuming, but it’s often the best source of candidates to fill your ever growing list of company job openings, and doing so doesn’t cost you a thing. Using your existing candidate pool to hire talent is the future of recruiting. All companies should possess a talent community in order to build a pool of well-qualified candidates. This allows recruiters their own personal pool of candidates who have already gone through the process of uploading their resume, learning more about the company, and (hopefully) engaging with recruiters. Recruiters should be sourcing their own candidate first for these three simple reasons:

It’s cost effective.
How much time and money are you spending advertising a job to the masses, whether it is on a job board or through PPC? Probably a lot more then it would cost looking at candidates who made it through an initial pre-screen, but for some reason or another didn’t get the job they originally applied for. You should already have their information saved and ready to go so the next step you should do is contact them if they fit the new job you’re advertising.

It’ll save you time.
A recruiter’s time is extremely valuable. When you have a hundred positions you need to fill learning to do so in the least amount of time possible while saving the most money possible is an HR Managers dream. Be smart about looking for candidates.

It’s less competitive.
When sourcing through a previous pool of candidates you do not have to spend money on attracting people who may not even be interested in your company to begin with. If someone has taken the time to apply for a job at your company it’s generally a good assumption that they’re interested in working for your company. It’s one thing to sell a position to a candidate, but selling your company will take a whole lot more time and energy. Save the second step by taking a look at those who have previously applied to open positions within your company.

So before you decide to throw money at advertising a new job position, post it on your website, then search through your previous applicants. Use your ATS or Talent Community to search for previously qualified individuals. You’ll thank me after you’ve done it.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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