Sorry, You Didn't Get the Job

In the ideal hiring process, the final step is choosing among several top-quality candidates.  Each has the experience, skills and personality fit the hiring manager is seeking.  What’s more, they each embody a set of professional ethics that fit perfectly with the company’s culture and goals.  It’s a dream situation, except for one fact: you’re still responsible for informing the candidates you don’t choose that they won’t be getting the position.

Letting people down is never easy, but it can be done professionally and with grace – two qualities that are key in ensuring top candidates think well of your organization and consider applying for similar job openings in the future.

Consider these tips for implementing a professional rejection process:

  • Personalize rejection letters.  A form letter that essentially says “sorry, you didn’t get the job” can be a real blow to a candidate’s ego, especially if they’ve invested significant time in interviewing for the position.  While it may not be feasible to send personalized letters to every candidate, the amount of care and attention you put into rejecting an applicant should be in proportion to the amount of time they investing in your interview process.
  • Keep the rejection short and to the point.  Address your company’s decision quickly and effectively.  Use a gracious and considerate tone, but don’t dwell on the decision.
  • Maintain a professional tone.  Rejection is a delicate thing for both the company to express and the candidate to receive.  Use the rejection letter as an opportunity to show your company in a respectful and professional light. Since the rejection letter may be your last opportunity to make an impression on a top candidate, it’s important to end on a solid professional note.
  • Don’t say anything you don’t mean.  If you believe the candidate is a good fit for the organization and you want him or her to apply in future, say so – but if you believe the candidate won’t be a good fit for your organization, don’t recommend that they apply for future openings.  Honesty is important.

As leaders in the recruiting industry, TERRA Staffing, understands how to effectively manage candidate expectations. We know that the candidate’s experience is a direct reflection on our firm and, ultimately, your company, and we take great care in protecting your reputation and brand through every step of the recruiting process. From the initial sourcing of top candidates to the hiring (and rejection) stage, our recruiting team is able to guide you through the process. Contact us today to learn more!

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