How To Tell Job Candidates They Didn’t Get The Job

If you’re like most hiring managers, you have more job applicants than job openings. After sorting through countless resumes, you get to choose a handful of candidates that you can invite to a job interview. Based on those interviews and the subsequent checks and screens, you get to choose the best person for the job. And then hiring process is a wrap, right?

Disappointed and frustrated job seeker with head under lap top

Not quite. One task of an HR professional that is often overlooked includes how to tell job candidates they didn’t get the job. It’s a delicate situation because both parties have invest time, money, and effort into the hiring process. Now you have to cut ties and tell that job candidate that you’ve decided to go in a different direction. It’s kind of like breaking up with your significant other.

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Unfortunately telling a job candidate that they didn’t get the job is a part of your job. Don’t dread it, instead have a plan and implement it. The candidates that you don’t hire want to hear from you. They want to know why they didn’t get the job.

When you have to tell job candidates┬áthat they didn’t get the job,┬áremember these general rules:

  • Personalize It With A Phone Call Or In Person Meeting
  • Communicate In A Timely Fashion
  • Be Honest
  • Provide Feedback
  • Be Courteous And Polite
  • Highlight Your Hiring Criteria
  • Be Able To Back Up Your Decision
  • Keep Your Decision Positive
  • Answer Any Questions
  • Don’t Ramble On
  • Ask Them To Reapply Next Time (If You Mean It)

Every HR professional can tell you that the hiring process can be difficult. Deciding on the right candidate is challenging. Dealing with the candidates who didn’t get hired is tough. Take a deep breath, have a plan, and always be honest in your communications with every candidate. It will pay off in the long run.

How To Choose Between Two Equally Qualified Candidates

The competition for jobs is fierce and people want to work for you. If they don’t make the cut, try to let them down easily so that you don’t create an enemy. Leave on good terms and try to keep the doors of communication open in the future. Make a plan for how you are going to tell job candidates they didn’t get the job. It’s important.

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