Hiring and onboarding

Why you need a candidate database

Sofia El Ouardy

Your best talent pool is your candidate database. While you’re sourcing for new candidates, make sure to revisit profiles you’ve screened before.

Made it to the final round

Sometimes, candidates are highly skilled, they’re just not the right fit for an open role at hand, keep records of these candidates. We tag them “future potential”. Maybe they need just a tiny bit more experience or lack a specific critical skill or technology for this role, so your hiring manager needs to continue the process with another candidate.

Revisit old candidates

Fast forward a few months, a new role opens, you decide on the qualifications, post the role on a job board, and start the hiring process in the quest to find the right hire. But remember, a few weeks ago, you screened and interviewed a candidate who fits this role perfectly, they made it through the technical interview, the culture fit interview, and whatever other steps you have in your hiring process, only at the very last steps did you decide for another hire. You can skip the whole souricng and initial screening process, contact a qualified candidate directly, and continue where you left off. The process would take a few days instead of weeks and countless hours of screening and interviewing.

Keep that precious data

Now, contacting previous candidates is simple when one person takes care of hiring from the first screening call to the final interview. Still, once the process has many people taking part in it, it’s harder to know if there was a qualified candidate in the past who meets all the requirements of a currently open job role. It sounds pretty straightforward, but many companies don’t capitalize on their previous candidates for newly opened roles, because data gets lost. The solution is simple: create an internal database of candidates, maintain it, and most importantly use it whenever you need to source new candidates, you’d be surprised at what you can find.

Your internal candidate database

So, what should your candidate database look like? You need to keep all the information you gather about a candidate during their hiring process (following local laws and the candidate’s preferences). That includes the candidate’s contact information, their skills, tech stacks, score cards from technical and culture fit interviews, and a special tag for candidates you would consider contacting, should a more fitting role open in the future.

The next time you need to hire for an open role, the first thing you do before jumping into the job posts jungle and endless resume screening is to look into your database for qualified candidates, and you will see your time-to-hire significantly improve.