Reconnecting with Previously Rejected Candidates

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Rejection is part of the hiring process, and it pays to do it well.

There are some candidates who applied or who interviewed for your open position who just aren’t right for your company, now or ever. And there are those who don’t precisely fit your company’s needs at present but might in the future. No matter which category the rejected candidate falls in, they should be treated respectfully.

Why? Beyond the fact that it is simply the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense. Every interaction a candidate has with your organization makes a brand impression. Experiences – good and bad – get talked about and shared with many others, and when shared via social media or online – think Glassdoor – thousands of people might get an impression of your company based on that one rejection. A negative review of how your company treats prospective employees could impede your ability to attract the best talent.

Also keep in mind that candidates are often customers. You don’t want them turned off to your products or services because they felt they were treated poorly in the application process.

How to create a positive candidate experience even if the candidate is rejected.

  • Communicate quickly. Let the candidate know if they are no longer being considered for the job as soon as you can. Closure is important. 
  • Personalize the rejection. Call or write. Dear Whatever Your Name Is can’t make anyone feel good about the rejection. The candidate cared enough about your opportunity to spend time and effort applying for the job, and if invited to continue the process, spent more time and effort researching your company, and quite possibly traveling and taking time off from work to interview. You can dignify that effort by making that phone call or personalizing the rejection letter. 
  • Be honest. If they are not a candidate you would consider in the future, thank them and wish them the best. If they are a candidate that you could be interested in for future openings, let them know that. Build that bridge! Tell them that you value their time and talents, and if possible, offer constructive feedback on how they might increase their chances of being hired next time you have an appropriate opportunity. Invite them to subscribe to the company newsletter, follow the company on social media, and urge them to check the company website for future openings.

It doesn’t take much effort to communicate rejection well, but it is well worth doing. Just think about the benefits to your organization to rejecting candidates without burning bridges, especially those who might be viable candidates in the future. You’ll have a pool of qualified candidates that want to work for you. With those prospective employees in the pipeline, you save time and money if you bring them in for a future opening, because you’ve minimized recruitment costs and your employees’ time interviewing.

With thousands of successful placements since 1994, the expert recruiters at Mankuta | Gallagher will help you find and hire the top talent you’re looking for today and in the future. Contact us today.