About those "serial applicants"

One of the things I have never, ever understood is why employers are so damned upset about people who apply over-and-over again to all of their jobs? First, it’s not like people actually search their applicant tracking system after the fact anyway. Yeah, that candidate record is gumming up your ATS making it so hard to find the good ones. But what if these were the good ones?!

Leaders in our space hate “serial applicants” so much that I know of a few employers who have designed their entire experience to weed these people out. They would make the application harder, longer, more cumbersome. The screening questions more in depth, and so on. And I always ask, are the “serial applicants” really that troublesome? That annoying? You realize by building a system to weed people out, you are likely to weed out the people you don’t intend to weed out (but I digress). When I think about it, the reason this discussion wears me it is, honestly, they are SUPER INTO YOU!

Instead of thinking of them as “serial applicants”, I want us to start thinking of them as what they really are: SUPER FANS! They obviously are really into your company, your employer brand, your jobs, your culture. They are all the way bought in. They probably buy your products, use your tools and services. They are INTO YOU! I mean, they obviously are going to go the extra mile for you, your company and your customers, I would argue that your serial applicants are the ones who should get more love. Give them some love, give them a chance.

Instead of bemoaning them and ignoring them, let’s find out if they are a fit. It’s the least we can do. A simple conversation with a superfan can go miles. If they do fit in, find them a place. And if they aren’t a fit, tell them and then help them still be a superfan! But, please stop being mad that people are super excited for working for your company. So excited that they will endure your cumbersome application over and over again.

Imagine bringing this person on board and they bring that level of tenacity to their job. They are going to be brand ambassadors for your company, product and employer brand. There is so much upside here which is why I simply can’t understand why we are hating on this group. Get rid of the serial applicant mindset and embrace your superfans. You have no idea what they would bring. Wouldn’t you kinda like to find out?