How to reject candidates properly.


Rejection, I guess it’s just part of life, its not nice and sometimes it feels like someone has literally ripped your stomach out but it happens. It’s for this specific reason you need some sort of plan on how to let candidates down lightly weather you work for an agency or directly for a client. How candidates experience rejection is directly linked with candidate experience. If a candidate is given a logical, timely and clear reasons why they were not hired they may still regard the company in a good light and if the opposite happens well it wont be good. Remember that candidates are also potential clients for your business so your not just tarnishing your employer brand but your consumer brand as well.

Here are a few ways agency recruiters and in house recruiters can make the rejection process more bearable.

  1. Tell them: Sure this sounds easy, however sometimes its overlooked. I know usually its easy not to say anything, however it takes 5 – 10 minutes to make a call or write an email. Communication and transparency between in house recruiters and candidtes is poor. A massive 60% of candidates feel very frustrated with the lack of communication and a huge number of candidates saying they don’t even here from the recruiter at all – this is for both internal and external recruiters. When communication is clear and concise the candidate can either wait for the next round of interviews or move on knowing they haven’t been selected, and no longer live in hope that something might happen.
  2. The medium: Some people say that telephone calls are better, some people say emails are better. Depends what generation your from but I guess emails edge it, even though sometimes I personally prefer phones calls. With emails you can elaborate exactly why your candidate was not successful in every fashion. They also limit the whole foot in mouth scenario in which you could potentially upset the candidate by something you accidentally say. I know we are a mobile generation but don’t ever give feedback over whatsapp or text message, think of it this way; You wouldn’t break up with someone over text, so don’t let your candidates know their out of the running via text.
  3. Composure: There is no need to rub salt in the wound. You don’t need to list every flaw the candidate has. There is a way of doing things in a classy way instead of kicking them whilst they’re down. Candidates essentially want to feel appreciated so be honest if there is a chance that something could happen in the future tell them, if not tell them. Its better to be honest than have a candidate hold out for something that wont happen.

Try and stick to the points mentioned above when rejecting candidates. Treat them with respect and always communicate. I know this sounds very easy to do and of course it is, but this could be the difference between a candidate having a good candidate experience and a bad one.


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