These days, it’s become more of a buyer’s market between companies and job seekers. Businesses are scrambling to find top talent and to keep them. In order to attract the best people, companies need to improve their recruiting and hiring process, to make it more user friendly and a more positive experience for job candidates.
One important way to do this is handling the candidate rejection process in a professional and empathetic manner. How you reject job candidates needs to be seen as an essential part of the whole hiring process.
Contacting Rejected Applicants
Some companies never even bother to contact applicants who have been rejected, which is the worst thing to do. People who have been rejected in this way will have a very negative view of the company and will tell other people about how rudely they were treated. It can have a detrimental impact on a company’s reputation, affecting its ability to attract good candidates in the future.
Companies need to notify people who have been rejected and to do it in a professional way. Candidates who have interviewed, for example, would receive a phone call, those screened by telephone, a personalized email. And those who have applied for a position would receive an email if they were not selected.
What to Say
There are different opinions about what to say to a rejected candidate. Some counsel that a general response is the best course of action, thanking the person for applying, telling him or her they were not selected, and then simply saying that you have decided to go with other applicants.
Some, however, will give more specific feedback if it does not involve anything of a personal nature, informing the person that he was rejected because of a lack of experience in a certain area or needed certification or training, for example. You need to be careful with this, however, because it could boomerang if the candidate decides to argue with you about your reasons or uses the information to file an employment complaint.
There is always the possibility of an angry response from a job candidate who is rejected, but if you deal with them in an open, honest, and empathetic manner, most are grateful for the effort and will tend to look favorably on your company.