Helpful Ideas to Deal With Difficult Candidate Rejection

9 Aug

As any HR professional knows, the hiring process can be stressful. However, as difficult as it may be to find the right candidate for the job, it’s important to remember that job-seekers are likely even more concerned about the application process. These individuals have spent time perfecting their resumés, researching the organization, crafting cover letters, and preparing for tough interview questions.

After an interview, or even after electronically submitting these application materials, many candidates wait with anticipation to receive word of the outcome of their applications. Although companies may receive stacks of materials from potential candidates and have to spend a considerable amount of time digging through resumés to find candidates for the interview process, they still need to dedicate the necessary time to informing applicants when a decision has been reached. As such, HR must develop an efficient and comprehensive plan for candidate rejection to protect their company reputation and maintain fair hiring policies. Keep reading to find human resources solutions for managing the rejection process:

Always Respond
No matter the outcome of an application, it’s important to deliver the news to a candidate. According to U.S. News & World Report, employer silence after an interview is one of the top five complaints of job-seekers. The source reported that this silence comes off as “callous and dismissive.”

Acknowledging a candidate post interview is important for many reasons. When a company doesn’t keep up contact with candidates, it may receive an influx of follow-up emails asking for further information. Perhaps most importantly for the company, the hiring process reflects on the company. Lack of response to clients may damage a company’s reputation—there are many online outlets where potential employees can voice their dissatisfaction with the process, and a negative review may prevent qualified individuals from applying.

Despite this general sentiment, a report by CareerXroads Sources found that 50 percent of companies never communicate with candidates again if they are not selected for a position. This is disheartening for job-seekers, as they may be waiting for days or weeks to hear word from an organization.

Draft a Standard Response
Communication with potential hires doesn’t have to be complicated, and people would rather find a standard email from a company in their inbox than hear nothing. It should only take a few minutes to come up with an appropriate statement, as an HR representative can create a neutral message that sufficiently details what the decision was, why the candidate was not selected, and offers some appreciation for his or her interest.

According to HR Magazine, a company can simply thank the applicants for their time and tell them the company has decided to continue its search with other applicants. Keep this email saved, and when a company decides to reject an application, send this off as soon as possible. If a company feels an applicant deserves a more thorough response, it can always opt to personalize an email.

Consider the Source
Not replying to a candidate is bad enough, but when an applicant has been referred to a company by a personal contact, communication is even more crucial. According to the CareerXroads survey, nearly 65 percent of openings are filled through employee or personal referrals or are internally found.

This means that when a potential hire doesn’t get a response from an organization, not only will the candidate be offended, there is a serious chance of damaging company reputation among current employees, former colleagues, or personal contacts.

In order to protect the company name, it may be wise to personalize these rejection letters. A company can let candidates know that it has decided to go with someone with more appropriate skills or encourage them to apply to future job openings at the company after they have gotten more relevant experience.

No matter the quality of an application or the number of resumés a company receives, it’s important to remember that every job-seeker deserves a response. After all, they all took the time to write a cover letter, provide references, and worried over what to say in an interview. The least a company can do is acknowledge this effort and let them know the outcome of their application.

If you’d like more resources regarding hiring and recruiting like white papers, presentations, and recordings see our best practices and tools page or our Sage HRMS Cyber Recruiter page.


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