How to Tell Candidates They Were Not Selected?

Published on: 16 October 2023

You've interviewed about five candidates, one of them stands out and progresses to the next round. You schedule a meeting with the department head and call the chosen candidate to deliver the good news. In your enthusiasm, you forget to inform the other candidates.

This can have consequences for your organization. One of the most significant frustrations for candidates is lengthy processes and recruiters who stop responding. In response to such practices, candidates may engage in "ghosting," suddenly disappearing in the middle of the application process.

Word of Mouth Marketing

Through various review websites, your organization is at risk of being rejected at any moment. A candidate who must wait for weeks for a response might share their frustration with others. Negative publicity, online or offline, can be easily avoided by providing all your candidates with a response, including those who were not selected.

Our colleagues offer some tips:

Be Honest

When a candidate is not selected, it's best to be honest about the reason, but in a diplomatic manner. Keep in mind that this may be hard for the candidate to accept, so empathy is essential.

Be honest and provide the real reason right away. It can help the person in question to improve. With that honest feedback, they can work on it for the next application. You can give the candidate some tips to approach the next interview differently.

How to Deliver the Message?

Standard emails are easy to recognize and make candidates feel they are not taken seriously. Personal communication is key. Especially if you've already spoken to your candidate. Opt for a phone call or, even better, a face-to-face conversation.

If you receive a digital application that doesn't match your vacancy, you can communicate via email. Even here, it's best to be as specific as possible. You want to show the candidate that you've taken the time to review the application and resume, so feel free to mention something you read in the CV in your email.

Use This Moment to Connect with Your Candidate

Always try to build a connection with the candidate. Who knows, the candidate may be a suitable fit for your company at a later time. So, you don't want to discourage them.

Moreover, you want positive word-of-mouth advertising. After all, you are always the ambassador of your company. By providing honest, prompt, and transparent feedback, you leave a positive impression, regardless of the decision made during the application.

Are you looking for candidates or in need of additional expertise? Get in touch with us!