Hiring managers often find that candidates previously rejected for a position will re-apply, either for the same position, if an opening becomes available, or for a different role within the company. Don’t be so quick to reject them twice; approach these potential hires with a fresh mind, and consider the following reasons why they might be the right fit despite being rejected before, and some strategies for dealing with them.
- Poor Interviewers – Some people just don’t interview well, but are more than competent in their field of expertise. While it’s not good news if a salesperson can’t convince you of their value, someone applying for a skill-reliant role like IT or finance might just be more comfortable letting their résumé do the talking. Consider a skills-based assessment to complement the interview process, or bring in a co-worker with expertise in their field to see if they know their stuff.
- Interim Improvements – Sometimes you may have turned down a candidate for lacking a certain qualification or experience. If you offered some feedback when you rejected their application, they may have addressed those shortcomings and now possess exactly the competencies for which you’ve been looking.
- Your Own Mistakes – Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school’s varsity basketball team, and was passed over twice in the NBA draft when he went pro. He of course went on to be the greatest basketball player in history. Musician Noel Gallagher worked as a roadie for indie band Inspiral Carpets, who turned him down when he auditioned to be their singer. He later became the chief songwriter for rock group Oasis, which has since sold over 70 million albums. Look at re-applicants with fresh eyes, and try to uncover previously unnoticed potential.
- They Really Want To Work For You – Every employer would probably like to be someone’s “dream job.” If someone applies for positions within your company multiple times, especially in multiple roles, they may have been inspired by your company’s work or connect with your company’s vision or culture. Make sure to ask these people exactly why they’d rather work for you than another company. Someone who shows real passion for the work you do is always worth a second look.