Should You Stay in Touch With Past Job Applicants? 5 Ways to Keep Great Ones in Your Network

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Today's Question: Do you stay in touch with past job applicants? Why or why not? And if so, how do you keep in touch?

The answers below are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization composed of ambitious startup founders and business owners.

1. Invite Them to Company Events

We try to stay in touch with great people in general. We've come across awesome candidates and didn't have good roles for them. We keep in touch every few months and invite them to company events. This way, we know whom to call or ask for referrals when a role opens up. I know of a VC who has a full-time staff whose job it is to stay in touch with great people.

— James Hu, Jobscan

2. Connect With Them on Social Media

At Aligned Signs, we keep notes on candidates who impressed us but were not hired due to timing or a lack of fit for the position being filled at the time. Business is constantly evolving, and we might need a person with the particular profile later on, so we do our best effort to stay in touch with the people that made an impact through social media.

— Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs

3. Use Them to Stay Aware of Industry Developments

I keep in touch with great applicants for two reasons. First, if another position that is a better fit for them opens up in the future, I'll contact them to see if they're still available. Second, assuming we part on good terms, they can keep me abreast of developments and opportunities elsewhere in my field – stuff I might not be aware of otherwise.

— Steven Buchwald, The E2 Visa Lawyer

4. Add Them on LinkedIn

On occasion, I keep in touch with past applicants. I only do so if I am really impressed with them but they do not exactly fit the role being filled. In this case, I connect with them on LinkedIn or follow up in an email. Down the road, there could be an opening that they are better suited for.

— John Arroyo, Arroyo Labs, Inc.

5. Hire Them If You Need Additional Employees

Generally, unless the previous job applicants were my friends, I would not stay in contact with them. However, if I do have a job opening or need an additional employee, the applicants with the best ratings would usually be called again for a potential job.

— Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning