Avoiding unsuccessful candidates brings your company down to the level of online dating practices, or ‘ghosting’ as it has been dubbed. All of the above constitute an unprofessional recruitment process and could be damaging to your own morale as well as your reputation.
A more professional way to say no is somewhere in the middle of no and a no-reply, as Ross McCammon has termed it ‘a kind of super no -- a negative accompanied by a whole bunch of positives’.
This article will delve into how best to approach candidate rejection and thereby protect your brand as well as your reputation.
Can your business prove the ‘human’ element of your HR department when it comes to how you reject a candidate?
Ways to Innovate
- Pick Up the Phone!
Remember in your final stage of recruitment, there should only be a few candidates left so having a 3-5 minute phone call with each individual is a great way to humanise the rejection.
By articulating why you’ve chosen someone else on this occasion and by offering salient points that will benefit the individual the burning questions of ‘Why not?’ and ‘Is it me?’ will be sidelined by genuine feedback.
- People Come and Go, Reputation Remains
The public’s view of your company can turn sour fast through word-of-mouth so learning how to kindly say no is key to your company brand.
Don’t forget the candidate has probably spent several hours researching the company, customising their CV and writing a cover letter.
No matter how successful you are, you cannot afford to dismiss talented individuals who are most likely invisible promoters of your product or service.
Offering candidates the chance to take part in a feedback survey demonstrates thought for the individual and gives voice to their experience which could improve the way you hire.
- New Opportunities, Old Relationships
Unsuccessful candidates might not be the right fit for the role for which they apply but that doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future. Needless to say, if they’ve made it to the final stage of the interview process they must be talented.
A great way to conclude a rejection phone call is to offer to connect on LinkedIn, a suggestion which gives the interaction constructive potential and maintains your connections with the skilled.
Likewise, inviting the candidate to like a Talent Hive page where your openings are posted sends a genuine message that you appreciated the skillset of the individual and could wish to reengage in the future.
Your Next Step
No matter what our job title, we are humans first and sometimes we may prioritise the comfort of an official email over a personalised form of candidate rejection.
By phoning the unsuccessful candidates, connecting on LinkedIn and creating a candidate survey, you can say ‘Thanks but No Thanks’ with a weight of empathy to boost candidate confidence and improve your own morale by doing the right thing.
By infusing compassion into your rejection process, you can leave yourself open to crossing paths with the person in the future while also demonstrating your business as one that appreciates all candidates.
Innovating your HR procedure in this way will soon prove that the art of saying no isn’t so hard to master after all.