Do you turn down job applicants professionally and appropriately during your recruitment process? From the contacts I receive at this website, it seems as if few employers do any more. Here are the steps I recommend.
Your rejection process starts with your first meeting with your job applicants. Whether this is at the phone screen or at the first interview, one of the goals of the meeting is to explain your selection process to each candidate.
When employers provide this information, applicants feel less in the dark and more positive about your recruitment process. The telling should also let the applicant know the points at which you will communicate with them about the status of their application.
When to Call and Turn Down a Job Applicant
You want to leave each applicant with a positive view of your organization which simple, timely communication will achieve. This positive impression may affect your candidate's application to your organization in the future.
Or the impression he or she takes away may affect other potential candidates for your jobs. Candidates do talk and often, like birds, flock together to pursue an employer of choice.
When to Reject an Applicant
Many employers disagree with me, but I also recommend that you call each applicant as soon as you determine that he or she is not the right person for the job. Many employers wait until the end, even as long as it takes for a new employee to start the job, before they notify unsuccessful candidates.
This is disrespectful and not congruent with the actions of an employer of choice. Let candidates know as soon as you know.
Otherwise candidates wait, fret, and feel as if their candidacy disappeared into a dark hole. Trust me; their feelings about you as a potential employer did, too. And, gone are the days when a disgruntled job searcher told ten friends about his or her bad experience with your firm.
The estimate I saw in a recruiter's group on LinkedIn was that a recent study estimates that this number is now 1374 people. Welcome to the world of social media and sites like Glassdoor and Indeed.com where people comment on their experiences with your recruitment and employment.
Additionally, as an employer, if you've decided that the candidate is not the right person for the job, retaining the applicant tempts you to settle for an under-qualified, or less than you had hoped for, staff person.
My only caveat here is that if you have determined a person is both well-qualified and a good cultural fit, call the applicant to let them know the status of their application. Tell the applicant that he or she is still being considered for the position, but that you also have several other qualified candidates to interview.
In this way, you have not rejected an acceptable candidate and the candidate is not left in the dark while you consider your other options. This is courteous and respectful and it may help you avoid restarting your recruitment.
A candidate who is not updated about your process may accept a position elsewhere. Plus, by staying in touch, you continue to build a positive relationship with a potential employee and his or her network.
Applicant Rejection by Employers
One last point: I receive frequent questions from job searchers about what is appropriate for them to do about follow up with employers with whom they interviewed. Days, weeks, and sometimes months, have passed with no word from an employer who was obviously interested enough to bring the applicant in for an interview.
These candidates are assuming they were not selected but they have never heard for sure. Like most normal humans, they seek closure so that they can move on.
In my book, it is never appropriate for an employer to fail to respond to a candidate with whom the employer has had contact. It is not candidate, employee, potential employee, or company image friendly to fail to let a candidate know his or her status. Say, yay or say, nay, but say something - in a timely manner.
More Related to Job Applicant Rejection
Standard Application Acknowledgement Letter
Sample Applicant Turn Down Letters
- See a standard applicant rejection letter that you use to respond to applicants who are not as qualified as the applicants you decide to interview.
- See a sample, simple rejection letter sample for applicants whom you reject without an interview.
- Here is a sample rejection letter for applicants whom you choose not to invite for an interview.
- Here is a sample rejection letter for a candidate who did not appear to be a good fit for your company culture.
- See a sample rejection letter for use when you'd like the candidate to interview for a different job in your company.
- Here is a sample rejection letter for a candidate you hope applies again in the future: good cultural fit.
- Find a sample rejection letter for an applicant whom you hope reapplies in the future.
- This is a rejection letter for a candidate who was not selected following a first interview.
- Find a sample rejection letter for a candidate who is rejected following an interview.
- Here is a sample rejection letter for a candidate who was not selected following a second interview.
- Find out more about how to write job candidate rejection letters.
Letters for Successful Applicants
What if the applicant you are contacting was successful and he or she was selected for the job? Following are sample job offer letters to let the candidate know the good news.
Sample Job Offer Letters
- Sample Employment Offer Letter (Standard Early-to-Mid-Career)
- Early Career: Sample Job Offer Letter
- Mid-Career Sample Job Offer Letter
- Executive Sample Job Offer Letter
- Sales Representative Sample Job Offer Letter
- Generic or Standard Sample Job Offer Letter