Don’t Pull A Disappearing Act On Rejected Candidates

We’ve all been there: We put our heart and soul into a job application, refresh our inboxes repeatedly, send follow-up emails and–nothing.  Not a single response. The application seems to have entered a black hole, far away from the hands of any recruiter or hiring manager. In other instances, we get lucky: we interview (be it via skype, phone, or face-to-face), send our thank you notes, and wait–but still never hear back.


Unfortunately, this disappearing act is a trick nearly 65% of applicants will experience at some point in their careers–one that’s discouraging to job-seekers and dangerous to businesses. While radio silence might be an easy way out for organizations, “ghosting” potential candidates and interviewees does more damage than good for your company and talent pool. Here are three simple tips to help you avoid the dreaded disappearing act with your next round of potential new hires, ensuring job-seeker satisfaction and corporate success.


Send Automated, but Honest Communications

Whether you’re rejecting initial applications or following up after an interview, it’s important to streamline and stay transparent with automated messaging to kindly say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” It’s simple–start by thanking the applicant for their interest, time, and effort; but, be honest and politely let them know why they weren’t a good fit. The more candid and straightforward your message is, the better likelihood your candidate will be able to pinpoint their weaknesses and prepare for future openings and interviews.

Timing is also important. If your applicant tracking system automatically rejects unqualified candidates through DNQ questionnaires, it’s vital to ensure these messages are being sent at appropriate times.  85% of job applicants doubt their initial applications were ever reviewed by an actual human being. Keep your communications empathetic and don’t send rejection emails immediately after applications are submitted. This will humanize your messaging, assuring your candidate that their application has been properly reviewed by more than a robot.


Foster A Positive Candidate Experience

The current overall job-seeker experience is disheartening, with 46% of candidatesdescribing their experience applying for jobs as poor to very poor. Candidates aren’t shy about warning other job-seekers, either. Whether it’s online at websites like Glassdoor or with personal and professional peers, disgruntled candidates are likely to share their negative experiences in one way or another.

Protect your company’s reputation and brand by ensuring your applicants steer clear of roadblocks and have a positive overall experience, even if it doesn’t necessarily end with an offer letter. From initial application through interviewing, follow up with them quickly and be upfront with their status.  Even if you’re rejecting them from a position, honesty and efficient communication shows appreciation for their participation and will go a long way in maintaining your company’s image.


Grow Your Talent Pipeline

Last, but definitely not least, be smart and nurture your talent pipeline for future recruits. Start by being open with your candidates and provide them with advice on their application or interviewing skills–applicants are four-times more likely to reconsider your company for a future opportunity when they receive constructive feedback.

Keep different positions in mind as well. While an applicant wasn’t a match for a specific position, it certainly doesn’t mean they might not be a perfect fit somewhere else in the company. If you genuinely see them in another role or department, steer them back to your career portal for other current openings. Even letting them know you’ll keep their resume on file for open roles down the road shows encouragement and empathy while building your talent pool for future openings.

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