The hiring process is stressful and time-consuming. You’re trying to quickly fill an open role so as to avoid stretching your other employees thin, but you also want to ensure that the new team member you’re bringing on board is a good fit. Because of this, many hiring managers get sidetracked and forget to give proper attention to those candidates who applied for a job but didn’t receive an offer. Here’s why it’s important to respect these individuals and make them aware that you’ve gone in a different direction:
It shows that your company cares.
People have given up a significant chunk of time to come in and do an interview with you. If they didn’t get the job, it’s easy for them to feel as if this time was wasted. Therefore, acknowledging their efforts and providing as much feedback as possible on how they can improve is a necessary professional courtesy.
It keeps the relationship strong in the event that you want to hire them in the future.
Just because this individual wasn’t a good fit for this particular role, doesn’t mean that they will never be a good fit for your organization. In fact, they may be the perfect person for a job that opens up six months or a year down the line. When this happens, you want to make sure that you have maintained a positive relationship so that you can contact them easily. Providing them with a prompt notification that they didn’t receive the job, as well as as much feedback as possible about why they didn’t get the job is a good way to keep this connection strong.
Many times hiring managers avoid telling applicants that they didn’t get the job because they feel uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say or they’re afraid that the person will get upset. Instead of avoiding the situation, though, it’s best to handle it in an upfront manner. Here is how to standardize feedback you give to those who weren’t chosen for a position within your company:
Pick one person to let candidates know.
If everyone thinks someone else is in charge of letting candidates know that they weren’t chosen, this duty will fall through the cracks and the applicants will be left in the dark. Appoint someone responsible for this task so you know that it’s being handled properly.
Decide how much feedback you will give.
If you are able to offer a five-minute phone conversation to each individual who wasn’t chosen, it would be an important use of your time. Provide a few tips on how the person could improve or suggest skills that they might want to develop further. Keep emotions out of it, and don’t act apologetic.
Lastly, encourage the candidate to stay in touch. It’s always wise to have a database of qualified people on hand for when open roles become available in the future. Maintaining strong relationships with past applicants makes this easy.