Sometimes “no” is just a not right now…



Recently I attended RHUB in Auckland (organised by the awesome Phil Tusing).  What a great event over two days.  If you missed out you really should make sure you are there next year.  I’ll take away a LOT from the workshops (particularly around Boolean image searching thanks to Laura Stoker) and the speakers, as always, were fantastic.  A special shout out to Bridget Cooksley of the Department of Corrections – top presenter of the day in my books.

Another great presenter on the day, Gemma Gracewood, talked about the word no.  In her words “a no isn’t always a no, it’s a not yet”.  It’s something that stuck out for me on the day.  How relevant is this for us in recruitment?  Many a time we are told “no” by candidates, but most of the time I would suspect this is a not yet.

As recruiters we spend a lot of our time searching for talent.  For a range of roles and skill sets.  When we are reaching out to talent we search contact details, suitability to role etc and we take time to speak with people about opportunities.  What do we do with those details if the candidate isn’t successful or isn’t interested?  Most of the time, nothing.  What a waste of that time, effort and potential future talent.

“But talent pooling is so hard” I hear you say.  I hear this so often when chatting to people in our industry.  Is it really?  It takes a large amount of investment (time being one of the more expensive investments in recruitment) to identify talent and then we throw it away when we get a “no”.  What if you thought of that no as a not right now?  What if you kept in touch with / kept details of those candidates who say no and used them again in future?  Keeping your brand top of mind for both recruitment and everyday life?  Auckland is a very small place in the big scheme of things (just look at our #nzrec industry for starters!) – your “no” candidate might just know someone who would give you a “yes”!

You may not have the budget or flash ATS – but you can talent pool in many ways.  Through LinkedIn, through your ATS or even more basic with an excel spreadsheet!

This is also the case for agency recruiters with potential clients too – you might get a no today, but you might get a yes in the future if you persevere.  So many times I get approached from agency, but I very rarely get a follow up call if it’s a no first off.  While that client might have nothing for you today, it’s a very dynamic Auckland job market meaning things are always changing.

I would love to hear in the comments below how you talent pool for the future in your business.



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