As an employer, do you value rejected job candidates? You might very well not. Why? Because you’ve got plenty on your HR plate and barely have the bandwidth to focus on the individuals who do get the job offers and need to be onboarded. So why should you waste precious energy on candidates who don’t make the cut?
According to an article from The Balance, giving feedback to a candidate who was not hired for the job is not legally required. In fact, in a survey of 100 U.S. companies most admired for their HR practices, 70% did not provide feedback to rejected job candidates. Here’s why:
- Because of discrimination concerns, some attorneys recommend that employers provide little feedback to rejected job candidates.
- Some employers say they have a limited amount of time to allocate towards communicating with job searchers.
- Other employers are fearful of exposing themselves to uncomfortable conversations with rejected candidates that can escalate into arguments.
- Employers fear the candidate will seek out advice about how to improve their interviewing and job searching skills.
While these reasons seem valid, employers need to understand that it’s human for most individuals to want to know why they didn’t get a job they interviewed for. It’s important to value rejected job candidates! Here are three ways to effectively handle this important group of professionals.
Some candidates hang on for weeks – even months – waiting to hear if they landed the job. They often assume the worse because they haven’t received an update. But there can be many external and/or internal factors that slow down the hiring process. If a candidate is still in the running but the hiring process is going slower than anticipated, make the candidate aware of the status so he doesn’t consider a job offer with another employer. And as soon as you know a candidate will not be hired, tell him. Getting back to candidates in a timely manner allows them to close the loop with you and move on.
If your organization commits to communicating with rejected job candidates, provide a good explanation for why the individual did not get the job. Have clear feedback that is constructive and void of personal opinions. When possible, share examples that will help the candidate understand why he didn’t get the position. And if there’s opportunity to point out areas for improvement – like getting more experience in a certain skill set – share that information with him.
Employers should also be consistent about how they communicate with rejected job candidates. Decide how follow-up will be done – by phone, email or postal mail.
Above all, be respectful when communicating with rejected job candidates. A candidate who is not the best match for one of your jobs today might very well be the top candidate for a job that opens up in your organization in the future.
Candidates who never hear back from an employer on whether they got the job will feel disappointed and disrespected. There’s a good chance they will voice their frustration with colleagues, friends and family members. And through the magic of social media, a candidate’s less-than-stellar experience with your company can – and will – be shared with many.