“Well __(applicants name)___, I would really love to have you working for us, but since I’ve missed out with you, is there anyone else that you know that might be qualified?
Even if they’re not actively looking right now, that’s ok. I won’t bug them to death, I’ll just check in to see how their job is going.
I can even leave your name out of it if you want.”
You likely train your sales people to get three referrals from every prospect, so why not do the same with your recruiting efforts. Remember, it only takes one good person to fill your job.