Tips for Turning Down Candidates That Don’t Fit

small business applicant tracking systemBeing a recruiter is difficult for several reasons. One of the most troublesome aspects of the job is having to reject a qualified candidate. It could be just as hard to tell an applicant that they’re not right for the job as it is to actually find top talent.

Thankfully, there are ways to reject candidates without burning bridges or being insensitive. If you need to save time with your hiring process, and save money, try our free small business applicant tracking system. Read to the end to learn more.

How To Reject Candidates That Do Not Fit

Always give them the rejection via a phone conversation or in person. Even if they are not your choice for the job, always give them a response. Never fail to let them know they didn’t get the job. Getting in touch with them by phone to give them the bad news is far more important and meaningful than leaving them waiting to hear whether or not they got the position.

Remember that potential employees could also be customers of your business. Not giving them a heads up about someone else being hired over them could result in negative feedback for your company in more ways than just the hiring process.

Let them know ASAP. As soon as you know who will be filling the available position, let other applicants know they didn’t get the job. Don’t wait days or weeks. This reflects poorly on not only your company but also you, as an individual.

Follow up after the initial rejection. Always send an email or, preferably, make a quick phone call to ensure the candidate knows how appreciative you were of their interest in working for your company. Also remind them that even though they were not the most qualified for the job you do intend to keep them in mind for future positions.

Be honest and give good feedback, as well. You’ve chosen someone else for the job and there was a reason. Explain to the candidate why and give them critical, sincere feedback on how they could ready themselves for another opportunity. Advice from you, as a recruiter, will be valuable.

While you’re giving them feedback be sure to identify their strengths. Make sure you compliment the skills they have. Also be sure to give them an explanation that satisfies them. If you find that they’re still in a state of negative emotions, continue talking with them until they are no longer disappointed or angry. Many times, a simple thank you for applying will do the trick. Saying thank you goes a long way. Appreciation is often overlooked when it comes to the overall hiring process, in general.

If you were unable to contact the applicant in a critical, honest and positive way, consider sending a rejection letter. This will keep any unintended tones from making this experience negative for the candidate. You can let them know that they were a very close second but the hired employee was more qualified for the position. This is acceptable and should be a part of the rejection, especially for candidates who were well-qualified.

As we mentioned above, be sure to let them know that you’d like to stay in contact with them for future available positions. Just because they were not hired for this one doesn’t mean they won’t be the top pick for another. Stay in touch via LinkedIn and Facebook and put them on your email list if they are interested in staying in touch. This leaves the door open for the future.

small business applicant tracking systemAlso be extremely personal. Address them by name. Use the exact title of the position they were being considered for. This is respectful and considerate and lets them know that they were genuinely thought about during the recruiting process. Failing to mention them by name might result in candidates assuming that they were not fully considered for the available position.

As we mentioned above, continue talking with them until you have reached a positive point in the conversation. However, do not say anything you don’t mean and be as open and honest as possible. Try to end on a positive note. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should keep the conversation going longer than it should.

Reaching out to applicants to let them know they did not get the job is important. This part of recruiting can be difficult, but with the right strategy you’ll be able to let anyone down without burning bridges. You might even find that they’re a great fit further down the line.

The Only Small Business Applicant Tracking System You’ll Ever Need

When your small business needs help with recruiting online, make a great choice by using Recruiteze! Recruiteze is a powerful small business applicant tracking system. Your job candidates can apply to your open positions and be instantaneously added to your talent database. End-user customers can go online anytime and access candidate resumes and make any necessary changes. We make recruiting easy because Recruiteze also comes with a custom job board that allows candidates and customers easy access to information and creates a level of professionalism expected in today’s marketplace.

If you’re already using online recruitment systems in your office, get a free version of iReformat. iReformat allows you to easily manage and format resumes 10 per month for free! In addition, we are proud to offer you a free 15 day trial of any of our other memberships. Other packages start at $10 per month and offer unlimited support, users, and more!

We’ve taken the redundant administrative work out of recruiting. Don’t hesitate to use our online recruitment systems to help reduce the time consuming process of hiring new employees and filtering through resumes and applications. If you have any questions or are interested in our enterprise package that offers unlimited access to all our services contact us today!

Additional resources:

How to reject candidates properly

Where to store resumes online

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