Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Top Tips for Letting a Job Seeker Down Respectfully

When you’ve got a desirable job opening in your organization, you can expect dozens of people to apply for that position. It’s never easy to tell people who have taken time to come in and interview that they didn’t end up getting the job. And while it may feel easier to disappear and hope that the candidates end up losing your e-mail address, the respectful thing to do is to be upfront when you’ve filled the position. Here are some easy tips for doing this:

Be honest

There’s no need to craft an elaborate story about why an individual didn’t get the job. Simply be honest. Perhaps a person was lacking a few key skills that are necessary for success in this role. Maybe another applicant had more experience. Most job seekers appreciate honesty, so having a candid conversation is important when you’re explaining why the role went to someone else.

Don’t let too much time go by

Put yourself in the role of a job seeker. Regardless of whether or not they’re currently employed as they’re hunting, the anticipation can be intense as they’re moving through the interview process. Don’t let them sit on pins and needles wondering whether they got the job when you’ve filled it weeks ago. As soon as you know that you’ve offered the position to someone else and that person has accepted, make it a point to fill the other candidates in. It’s not an easy conversation to have, but you owe it to these people to make them aware.

Give them feedback

If there was some glaringly obvious reason why a person didn’t get the job, you may want to let them know so that they can correct their error during future interviews. For example, if they showed up late to the interview or knew very little about the company, talk to them about this. Your advice may end up helping them land a position in the near future.

How do you deal with letting a job seeker down respectfully as you conduct interviews and fill open roles? Let us know in the comments! 

Lauren Levine

Lauren Levine is a copywriter/blogger who contributes to a number of magazines and websites including The Frisky, USA Today, and others. She also authors her own blog called Life with Lauren. She loves cooking, anything on the E! network, and is trying to convince herself that running isn't so bad.