How to Professionally Turn Down Candidates

Not Rejecting Candidates Is Killing Your Brand!

How exciting is it to recruit a new person?

It’s because there’s so much potential for them to grow the business, evolve your culture and maybe change everything you do for the better.

So, no doubt when you find that special someone, you can’t wait to tell them the great news!

But… well, what about the group that didn’t make it?

How do you tell them?

Did you know that how you reject these candidates is equally as important as how you say congratulations to the successful ones?

Why? Because it impacts your brand’s reputation.

Here’s how.

So, you’re in the recruitment department.

It’s quite the role because we have the responsibility of finding and selecting the best applicants. While that’s the awesome part, it’s only one part of what we do.

With every recruitment process, there’s a long line of people you need to turn down – who has to tell them? Us.

Yup… it’s not the glamourous side of what we do, but we definitely owe them a respectful response just as much we want to start onboarding our successful candidates like – for so many reasons.

The responsibilities of good candidate communication

What role are you in right now?

Think back to when you applied for it.

Are you there? Ok so – you were probably super nervous and all you wanted was to be kept updated. Your eye was on your inbox and hand on your phone… waiting… and waiting.

We bet you didn’t like being left in the dark? No one does.

Now that you’re on the other side of the desk, it’s time to return the favour.

Whether you’re congratulating your new employee or turning down the others, communication is key.

Sure – it’s not about being their grief councillor (no one wants that) – but keeping them up to date with their application doesn’t just help them, it also does wonders for your brand.

How does this impact your brand’s image?

A lot of your candidates are probably your brand’s biggest fans. So, whether you hire them or not, you definitely want to keep it that way.

You see, it’s common for businesses to just focus on marketing to their external customers – which is great. But then they completely forget their internal customers are just as important – i.e. your workforce.

People apply for a job at your business because they want to be associated with you. So, don’t frustrate them with an underwhelming hiring process.

The world is small today, and how you treat candidates can have a serious impact on how they treat you right back.

If you want to maintain a strong brand, consider your recruitment process as important as your public-facing marketing – because it is!

Insight time: here are our 5 suggestions for professionally rejecting applicants

Did you know that 72% of job applicants share their negative recruitment process experiences online?

Would you want to continue supporting a brand didn’t treat you well when you were applying for a job there?

We bet you wouldn’t! Neither would we – and with social media today, negative press spreads like wildfire.

So, let’s keep everyone happy and your brand intact by following these 5 tips to professionally turn down job applicants:

  1. Tell them as soon as you know

Don’t keep them waiting!

Applicants are humans – don’t stress them out by letting them wait. They also might have postponed some of their plans waiting for your response.

Have you made a decision? Tell them ASAP.

  1. It’s not personal, but make it personal

We know, we all want to sound professional. But adding a bit of a human touch can’t hurt, right? Definitely not!

Address them by their name and mention details about their interview to make them feel recognised.

  1. Provide honest feedback

Turn this rejection into a learning experience!

Applicants ALWAYS wonder why they weren’t the right fit. So, tell them, along with good feedback to help them improve.

  1. Ask for feedback, too

Candidates can equally give valuable feedback – this will come in handy if you want to improve the experience for future applicants.

  1. Encourage and engage

A little encouragement goes a long way.

Give back their motivation by urging them to apply for other roles you think will suit their skills and experience. This will show that you value their interest in working with your business.

Don’t forget to thank them for applying, too!

What if you have an agency to help you?

The recruitment process isn’t the easiest trick in the book to pull off. If it were, each of us here at Sense would be out of a job.

Sometimes engaging an expert recruitment agency to partner with you is the most viable option. Just make sure you’re engaging with one that aligns with your brand and elevates the candidate and applicant experience.

How do you assess that? Shoot an email or give us a call for a free copy of our ‘Candidate Experience Tips’

Phone: 08 9481 8111