Tips for Writing Rejection Emails to Candidates

Rejecting a candidate is not a pleasant task and it’s quite understandable for recruiters to want to avoid it. However, as any job applicant will tell you, there is one thing worse than negative feedback and that’s no feedback at all.

4 Things to Remember When Rejecting Unsuccessful Candidates

People want to know where they stand, they want to know that they have been considered and if they don’t make the cut, they would like to know why. So, don’t be afraid to write those rejection emails – just take note of the following tips when you do.

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1. Start Off With a ‘Thank You’

Recruiters often get so caught up in the idea that the applicants need them more than they need the applicants, that they lose sight of the inconvenience and possible stress that candidates go through in order to go through the application process. They have to take time off work, they may have to do tests and assessments – and all of this is added to the stress of wondering whether they will get the job or not. So simply start off by acknowledging this. Thank them for their time and effort.

2. Make it Personal

It may be too much to send a personally written email to each and every rejected candidate (although there are some rare people who do it) but that doesn’t mean you should get lazy and just send out a blanket email to all addresses, made out to ‘Dear Candidate’. Even if you are using a standard template, address the candidate by name. More than that though, add a little personal note – a reference to a conversation during the interview, an impressive part of the candidate’s CV or a positive attribute that you noted.

3. Give Feedback

For a job seeker, there is nothing more infuriating or disheartening than a letter with a generic “there were other candidates who were more able to fulfil all the criteria” or “you will not be progressing to the next stage “comment. This is particularly insufficient if you are interviewing for a senior position and your candidate has almost all the qualifications and experience needed but was simply trumped by a competitor in one or two key areas. So be specific and write a paragraph offering feedback that is personal and detailed, without being longwinded. Show the candidate why she/he was a contender then provide the reasons why they ultimately fell out of the race – and always put this in a positive light. Make use of phrases like – “with more training in this area”, or “we needed just a little experience in this department than you currently have.”

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4. Invite Them to Apply Again

Finally, invite – even encourage – your candidate to apply again when a similar post (or even this same post) opens up again. Let them know that, if they incorporate your feedback into their next application, they can stand a chance of getting the job next time.

At The Tower Group, We Put the ‘Human’ in ‘Human Resources’!

The key is to remember that we deal with human resources – ‘human’ being the keyword. A candidate may not have everything you require but he or she is still a person who has taken the time to apply and offer you their knowledge, skills and experience. At the very least, they deserve a respectful response. Tower Group is a leading expert in the field of recruitment and human resources. Contact us for more information and solutions to our staffing requirements and challenges.

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