3 Companies Detail How They Reject Applicants

How does your company reject candidates? We received the following answers to that question so here they are.

The first thing to remember when rejecting a candidate is that you must communicate to them.  No communication at all is worse than anything. I would always tell someone that the company deliberated for a while and it was a tough decision.  I often say that there was someone else that had such perfect qualification and recommendations that they couldn’t not move forward with them.

Often candidates want to know WHY they were rejected.. I aim to be as transparent as I can in all aspects of my work but it’s this question where I sometimes have to be very diplomatic.  If there really is something they can learn then I will tell them but very often it’s chemistry or something particular to the hiring company or the people interviewing.  In that case, it only hurts the candidate and since another interviewer likely wouldn’t feel the same way, there is no value in telling them.  It could actually hurt them in a later interview.  (Suppose a company says “they were too aggressive” – if you pass that along they tone it down for the next interview and those interviewers could say “She wasn’t aggressive enough”.

Sandy Charet, Recruiter

As a rapidly growing company we’ve had to reject a large number of candidates across a wide range of roles. My thoughts on the topic are as follows:”In my opinion, the two most important factors when rejecting a job candidate are timing and honesty. By timing I mean you should tell the candidate as soon as you know they are not a good fit for the role. Many employers (and I myself have fallen into this trap) often leave it until the role has been filled, or even until the chosen candidate has begun work to start rejecting unsuccessful candidates. During this time the candidate will be wondering where there application is, or whether it got lost in black hole.

The process can be weeks or months long, so this will only reflect badly on your organization. I always like to be as honest as possible when rejecting a candidate, and where ever possible, offer constructive feedback on why they weren’t successful and how they can improve. I think this is especially important when a candidate has clearly gone to a lot of effort in their application and is very enthusiastic about the role. Providing feedback in these instances shows that you appreciate them taking their time to apply and will leave them with a positive view of your company. It will also give them something to work on for future applications.”Hope this fits the brief – let me know if you’d like any more details.

James Lintern Co-founder, RotaCloud

Firstly, it is important to tell the truth. Candidates can see straight through canned responses and vague reasons. If the candidate is inexperienced, over qualified or a mismatch, telling them straight will help them and they will appreciate it later on. Secondly, it makes sense to prepare a few points and make the rejection swift and painless for all parties.

1) That they were unsuccessful.

2) The main reason why.

3) What they can do to improve their prospects for future applications.

That’s it, with these 3 things pre-prepared there is no waffling, awkwardness or bad feeling. You can always stand behind the truth, and the fact that you tried to help.

Jason Lavis, http://natrespro.com

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