Why your candidates want to be rejected

Jun 13, 2016 · 3 min read

Ok, maybe they don’t want to be rejected. But they want to know they’ve been rejected. Leaving candidates in the dark is one of the biggest mistakes we can make as recruiters and it’s high time that every. single. one. of your candidates knows exactly when he or she has stopped being considered for a job. It’s good manners, it’s good HR, it’s good recruitin’.

It brings that very important and crucial moment for all relationships, successful or not: closure.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. It takes so long! It takes too much of my time! It’s so tiresome! It’s no use because the candidates were not right for the position anyway! It’s really all for their benefit but there’s nothing in it for me! Okay, don’t get flustered. Let’s take it step by step.

Yes, it takes long, but there are ways to make that process faster and keep it moving by concentrating your candidate communication in one place and getting the right tools.

It’s tiresome? Well, that depends on each particular case. But anyway, you shouldn’t worry about being extremely formal or writing a loooong note for each candidate. Make it short and sweet (or in this case, bittersweet) and avoid canned responses. Casual, note-like emails are best. You won’t seem unprofessional, you’ll just seem approachable.

You think it’s not worth doing it for candidates who were not right for the position? Well, that part we understand but it might be short-sighted. Candidates evolve and they get better and they may re-apply in the future with much more experience, better qualifications and an awesome cover letter. So it is good sense to keep a good relationship with everyone, including those who you don’t foresee will ever apply to your company again.

And about it being good for you? Yes, believe it or not, it will be good for you. A company that is honest, transparent and swift in communication will always be appreciated and your word-of-mouth employer branding will only benefit from exemplary behavior during the recruitment process. You won’t get a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates, but you’ll be considered polite, responsive and yes, human!

So take your time (with the right tools it’s going to be less than you think) and reject your candidates. They’re going to thank you for it.


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Lusk is a new recruiting app that helps you hire the right people, faster. We’re on a mission to bring more human interaction and fun into recruitment.

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