Rejecting Candidates The Right Way

We’ve all had to deal with it and it’s not nice to be on either end. Rejection. On a night out when you want to buy someone way out of your league a drink. When you think you’ve aced an interview. Or when you think you’ve killed it in a sales pitch. You might have thought everything went well until you heard those dreaded words.

Rejection can leave you confused but when it’s delivered the right way, it can actually be a good thing but know this - there is a right way to reject candidates.

The best rejections:

  • Are delivered in a timely manner
  • Are backed up with facts and feedback
  • Are honest. 

And for the love of God, please personalise them!

According to a study by Seek, 66% of candidates who hadn’t heard back from recruiters or potential employers had negative feelings towards the hirer. As a result, 57% of them lost interest in pursuing any future roles with them. So, here’s how to reject candidates the right way and salvage any future relationship with them.

Don’t keep them waiting: As soon as you’ve made your decision, reach out to the unsuccessful candidates. They’ll be waiting for the news and it's a nail-biting time, so be sure not to ghost them. You surely know how that feels - it ain’t nice!

Personalise your communication: Personalisation is key when it comes to rejections. “Dear applicant” is a kick in the teeth after spending time preparing for the interview. You’re best to craft a personalised email acknowledging their effort, express gratitude for their time and interest and followed by feedback.

It might not be doable depending on the volume of candidates, but providing something more than a sentence used for everyone is always appreciated. Go the extra mile by sending a video message with our video sales messaging tool Capture. You can use this for individual candidates or send one generic video and personalise at scale with Quickfire.

Give them feedback: Feedback is king (or queen) when it comes to a good rejection. Going beyond the “not the right fit” chat will be way more appreciated and if you can get feedback from your client, even better! We think candidates deserve honesty and transparency, so if you use our candidate submission portal Hiredeck, when a client rejects a candidate, it’s compulsory to provide a reason. 

Keep them in mind: It’s great for you to keep them in your talent pipeline because once another job becomes available, you’ll know whether it’s a good fit or not for them. Express your interest in keeping them on file for future jobs. You never know, the next one might be right around the corner! 


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