How to reject a candidate in the best possible way

Recently on LinkedIn, a senior software engineer vented out his frustration over being denied a feedback from an employer he had sat across for an interview. It took some coaxing on his part to be told that he was “technically not sound” and hence, rejected.

In the post, the professional noted that genuine feedback protects the trust prospective employees have in an organisation.

Rejection letters are not easy to accept, and well-crafted ones strike the right note between encouragement and honesty.

The good ones not only deliver the bad news, but also what caused it. A couple of samples: “We have identified a candidate whose skill-set more closely aligns with this position’s requirements. Therefore, we will not be moving forward with your application”.

“We have reviewed the qualifications of all candidates for this position and, while your experience and accomplishments are impressive, the qualifications of other candidates match the specific needs of this position more closely.”

There are companies that can be expected to invite the candidate to their career’s section for other suitable roles. Or, keep the resume in their file for future job opportunities.

The method

At ANAROCK Group, depending on the role being applied for, the company sends either standardised or personalised acceptance or rejection letters.

“In the case of senior roles where the candidate is highly experienced and would have qualified for the role under most circumstances, we make it a point to mention this fact. We also highlight any similar roles consummate with his or her qualifications and experience if such roles are available and enquire whether the applicant would like to be considered for it,” says Sukhdeep Aurora, chief people officer.

Priya Mathilakath, head, HR — corporate and retail, Titan Company Limited, says there is certainly a challenge when one gets hundreds of mails for a role and each cannot be personalised.

Some candidates may be disappointed with automated responses, as they lack the human element.

Freshers might not mind an automated response, but middle- and senior-level talent would expect constructive feedback, says Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO of CIEL HR.

Either way, a rejection letter has to be sent, as it involves branding and also the company’s ability to attract talent in the future, says Priya.

Regarding feedback, Priya believes, an employer need not explain the reason for rejection, unless it is sought. “You need to leave that window to the candidate.”

A rejection mail is any day better than ghosting and progressive companies might even seek feedback from the candidate on their experience in applying for a role.

Aditya says years ago when they were the recruitment partner for a multi-national company in the banking sector, one criterion set by the client was that every candidate’s CV must be acknowledged and a response sent to every rejected candidate.

“It created tremendous value among potential employees as the candidate experience survey showed,” says Aditya.

He notes that responses to a candidate’s mails about the rejection should carry a professional tone.

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Printable version | May 31, 2022 11:17:19 pm |