The Right Way To Reject Your Candidates

Posted by Kate Smedley on 24 Jan 2018

When it comes to the job search, the first impressions that qualified candidates have of your brand count – but so do the last.  

The majority of candidates who apply to your jobs will not be successful, adding up to a lot of unhappy (and potentially vocal) job seekers if you get it wrong.

Why employer brand matters

A negative candidate experience can have a corresponding effect on your employer brand and deter qualified candidates from applying to your jobs. Savvy job seekers trust the experience of past and present candidates over and above the claims made on your careers site. Most will check out a prospective employer in the same way as they would a potential destination on Trip Advisor covering the entire candidate experience which can often focus on the way in which you responded to their job application.

Bad practice in recruitment

Your ability to attract talent is at risk if these three habits feature in your hiring process:-

Leaving your candidates in the 'black hole' of the job search

Waiting for a response from an employer is the biggest pain point for nearly half of all candidates.[1] For too many the job search frequently ends in the ‘black hole’ of unacknowledged job applications, which is an often demoralising experience. For candidates who don’t meet your initial screening criteria, automate personalised e-mails of acknowledgement through your ATS thanking them for their application and advising a date by which they can expect to hear from HR if you wish to pursue their application further.

Ghosting candidates

Nearly half of job seekers have been ‘ghosted’ by an employer at some point during their career. Ghosting is the practice of abruptly ceasing all contact with a candidate during the hiring process without explanation and subsequently ignoring e-mails and calls from baffled candidates. This often occurs after an initial request for more information or a telephone interview has taken place. Your recruitment analytics will provide an indication of whether your business is in the habit of ghosting.  

No feedback after interview

80% of candidates don’t receive feedback after an interview. Providing feedback enhances your candidate experience, leaves a positive impression of your organisation and encourages unsuccessful candidates in their future job search. Glassdoor now publishes an annual ‘Best Places To Interview’ list which should prompt more employers to pay attention to their interview process.

Here are our tips to ensure your rejected candidates leave a positive review of their experience with your business, especially following an interview:-

Don’t leave your candidates in limbo

Notify unsuccessful candidates of your decision as soon as possible. This is better for your brand image and for the candidates themselves who may have other job offers they are considering. Delays in making hiring decisions are costly for your business because:-

  • They reflect poorly on your ability to make a decision.
  • Talent is in demand. The longer it takes for you to make a decision, the more you risk losing your preferred candidate to another employer.
  • A slow hiring process can jeopardise your overall talent acquisition success. Recruitment data in your ATS will enable you to calculate your average time to hire and identify the stumbling blocks in your process.

Provide feedback

For candidates who have attended an interview, follow up with a telephone call and an explanation of why their application was unsuccessful. We recommend the following steps:-

  • Ensure objective feedback using neutral language and focus on the technical requirements of the vacancy, not cultural fit. Don’t compare them with the successful candidate.
  • If appropriate, provide recommendations on how they might improve their skillset for similar positions by acquiring more experience in specific areas or additional qualifications, for example.
  • Highlight areas on their application that you believed were strong on their CV but not reflected during the interview process.
  • If pre-hire tests were completed, offer feedback on how they performed during this process to inform their applications for future job applications.
  • For a close match candidate who may be a suitable fit for future vacancies, ask their permission to retain their data in your ATS for future job alerts. To ensure compliance with the GDPR (from May 2018) you must also advise how long their data will be retained on file and if it will be shared with colleagues. A request to retain that data beyond a specific date must also be obtained. A future reminder can be scheduled in your recruitment software.

And finally … ask for feedback on your hiring process

Successful recruitment processes require two way feedback. Incorporate an automated request at the end of the recruitment cycle to obtain feedback from all of your candidate involved in interviews and/or telephone screening. Bias in interviews has been highlighted as an issue for recruitment professionals in 2018. Feedback can bring your attention to all of the areas that may be impacting your talent success today.

Make your last impressions count with world class recruitment software from Kallidus. Start your 30 day free trial today.

For more insight into how to deliver a consistently better candidate experience download our e-book now.

You might also like to read:-

5 Signs You Need To Change Your Hiring Process

Developing A High Impact Talent Acquisition Function



Topics: talent engagement

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