Making rejections easier on both recruiters and candidates

The recruitment process is tedious for both recruiters and candidates. Both sides go through a long process, and candidates especially are waiting eagerly for good news—or any news at all—from the company. The least that they can get out of their efforts is some feedback on how they can improve and see better outcomes during their job search.


Legally, organizations are not required to tell candidates if they are not selected for a job.

But here are three reasons why conveying rejections can benefit both the company and the candidates:  

Candidates are always talking about you.

On top of validating their efforts, giving feedback can make a significant impact on how candidates perceive their overall interview experience with the company. According to Career Arc's research, 72% of candidates share their negative experiences on review sites and social media. Despite all employer branding efforts, this can really put a company in a bad light.

They might be turning down other job offers for you.

You are likely not the only company that candidates have applied for. The sooner you give them an answer, the faster they can move on to other opportunities.

candidate rejections

Candidates might turn out to be customers, or even a future fit.

Candidates that you turn down might end up becoming a customer in the future, and how you treat them can have a lasting impact. Moreover, you don't want to be starting from scratch every time there is a new job opening. Candidates that you reject today might be a perfect fit for a future role, and it is important that you offer appropriate follow-up to keep the doors open.

While sending a rejection message is important in general, you also need to deliver it in a way that results in a neutral experience for both parties.

Here are five ways to ensure that the rejection goes well

1. You may want to reach candidates over the phone, but not in all instances

It is not practical for recruiters to call up and talk to every rejected candidate. But you can send emails that are more personalized, and encourage candidates to reach out to you with follow up questions or for feedback. Even if you do choose to automate emails for large scale recruitment, keep the email sympathetic and concise. This way, you can make sure that the message is not misunderstood and prevent candidates from having to read a long essay just to hear a "no."

Here's how you can set up automated communication with Zoho Recruit.

If the candidate was in the top few but wasn't selected in the end, it might be better to convey the news over call so that they leave with a good impression. Good candidates are hard to come by, and you may want to reach out to them again for a future job opening.

Our integration with PhoneBridge can help you easily manage outbound and inbound

2. Appreciate their efforts

Most candidates are already employed, and if not, they are actively looking for employment opportunities. On top of their busy schedule, they have done everything they can to bring their best to your interview. By expressing gratitude for considering your company and thanking them for their efforts, you'll soften the blow of a rejection.

3. Give constructive feedback

Giving feedback is important. But it is also important to make sure that the feedback doesnt backfire. Highlight the positive elements that the candidate brings to the table, and when you do, talk about why they were rejected, sticking to the specific priorities of the company instead of the candidate's shortcomings.

Only give feedback about the qualities that can actually be changed, and stay objective. Talking about your opinions and feelings will make your decision seem biased.

4. Receive constructive feedback

Unhappy candidates might leave the most honest reviews. Getting their feedback can help you improve your recruitment process in the long run and make them feel more valued.

5. Keep an open door for the future

It is poor recruitment practice to have to source talent from scratch every time there is a job opening. And to reiterate, good candidates are hard to come by. After conveying the news of rejection, invite them to your company's job fairs, connect with them on social media, and encourage them to apply for future job openings.

Candidate Rejections

Wrapping up

Going through several rounds of interviews in a recruitment process can be extremely stressful for candidates, but they are fully aware that the outcome can be either positive or negative. No matter the quality of candidate you're working with, it's best to follow through. Set expectations throughout the process, tell them when they can expect to hear from you, and stay consistent. After all, the best candidate experiences are created through great communication.

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