How To Build A Potential Candidate Database

Posted by The ConveyIQ Team

Hiring can be an expensive process. Sourcing candidates from scratch every time you need to hire for a position can drain your recruitment budget. There is a better way to recruit, and you can do this by creating a potential candidate database. Today we are going to walk you through everything you need to create a candidate database for your company.

Source Database Members The Right Way

Wherever you decide to host your database, it’s going to cost some amount of money. You want to create a database with the right candidates so that having a database benefits your company. Building a candidate database isn’t the same as building an email list for your company.

You want your candidate database to be filled with candidates you could see yourself hiring. It may seem counterintuitive to have a small database, but having an extensive database won't necessarily make your life as a recruiter easier. You need to have a database that's large enough to turn to when hiring for open positions and small enough to be helpful during the hiring process.

Control Who Gets Onto The Database As Much As Possible

Instead of letting all potential candidates into your database, add some controls to the process. You may want to stick with just candidates who were referred by other employees or add past people you interviewed to your database. If your recruiters meet any potential candidates while recruiting at college campuses or on social media, add those people too. Overall, you want to make sure that you keep your database as neat as possible.

Create A Database That Is Easily Accessible By Your Entire Recruiting Team

Next, you want whatever database you use to be easily accessible by your entire recruiting team. Everyone who has a hand in recruiting or hiring should have access to this database. Give them access to add names and review people when hiring for job openings.

Before you let them into the database, you may want to create a quick tutorial showing them how to use the database and what they see when they open it. Give them clear instructions on the type of people they should add to the database, make sure the people they add are qualified and blend in well with the company and your brand values.

Tag Your Candidates

Your database is only useful when it is easy to navigate. All candidates need to be tagged as they are added to the database, so it's easy to find them later as you reach out to candidates for interviews and hiring. There are many tags you can add to candidates, but here are a few to get you started.


What are their skills? Do they claim to be proficient in a particular type of coding or your newsletter system? Write down all their prominent skills listed in their resume or on their LinkedIn profile when you add them to your database. This way, when a recruiter is looking for a coder who is proficient in Ruby or a copywriter who can write emails in Hubspot, they can find them easily.

In a perfect world, recruiters would have multiple options to choose from as they are looking for the ideal coder or copywriter, but that may not be the case at first. Keep an eye on your skills tags and beef up any tags that have a low number of people if the skill is relevant to your company.

If They’ve Been Interviewed Before

Another tag you should add is an "interviewed" tag. You may even want to create multiple labels for the different stages of the interview process. Once candidates get to the final few people in a job search, there isn't much of a difference between the candidate you picked and the candidate you didn't. Since these people have already been interviewed before, hiring them will probably be much easier if they are still looking for a job when you contact them.

Engage With Your Candidate Database

Once you have built your candidate database, keep your database engaged. Constant contact with your database is vital if you want them to stay excited about your company.

Send Them New Openings Before You Make It Known To The Public

As soon as you know about new openings, send links to the application to your candidate database. If you can, make it simple for them to reapply or show their interest in your new position, especially if they have already interviewed or submitted an application for something else before.

Keep Them Interested With Monthly/Quarterly Emails

Engaging with your potential candidate database often is necessary. Send them monthly or quarterly emails with information about what's happening behind the scenes at your company. Keep them up to date by sharing what your team has been up to, share employee spotlights, and make them excited to work for your company in the future.

Reach Out To Candidates Directly When You Have A Position They’d Be Perfect For

Don’t be afraid of giving your recruiting process a more personal touch. If you have a position that you know a person in your candidate database would be perfect for, send them a message directly. Strike up a conversation and chat with them about applying or showing interest in your position. This direct connection will give them a better reason to say yes to your job opening versus sending a job opening to everyone in your database.

Clean Up Your Database Often

Last, but not least, you should clean up your database often. Over time your candidate database can become a bit messy and unhelpful. You should spend some time every month or so going through your database and cleaning it up as much as possible.

Manage Duplicates

Duplicates are bound to happen at one point or another. Clean these duplicates so you won't be stuck sending out multiple emails to the same person or paying for the same email address twice in your database (depending on the type of database you are using.)

Give Candidates A Way To Remove Themselves Manually

Overtime candidates may lose interest in receiving emails or job openings from your company. If this is the case, you need to give these candidates the option to opt out of your emails and database.

Especially if you are using email marketing to communicate with your candidates, you should always give candidates a way to unsubscribe from your emails and candidate database. Most communication with people on the internet falls under the CAN-SPAM act which mandates that you give people a way to unsubscribe from any emails you send.

Create Your Potential Candidate Database Today

Hiring isn't easy. Starting the hiring process from scratch every time is a bad practice, and it's not necessary when you can utilize a database instead. You may still want to open your job position to the public if you can't find someone in your database, but having a database can be your secret hiring weapon. In a world where candidates expect more from us, we have to utilize what we can to hire better people promptly.

Are you excited to learn about optimizing the candidate experience? Check out our whitepaper all about candidate communication.

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