A friend of mine has been in a job search for a while now. She is a seasoned corporate relocation specialist. We met up for coffee recently and she told me about a trip she took from California to Philadelphia (on her dime) for a very promising job interview. She left the interview with the impression it went very well, headed back to the west coast and awaited further word.
I have another friend who is in an HR job search in Manhattan for several months now. She has
gone on numerous interviews, all of which seemed to go positively. So far, nothing concrete has materialized, but she is remaining optimistic.
Unfortunately, for my friends, after days and weeks of waiting for a response, job offers have not been extended. But, what is most striking is that despite both sending Thank You letters and follow up inquiries as to their status as viable candidates, neither were provided any type of response. Not a word. And, it’s this last piece of the job interview process that really stings for both of them.
How a job candidate is rejected is absolutely part of a company’s culture.
No one likes to deal with a job rejection, whether you’re the one doing the rejecting or the one being rejected. But it’s an easier pill to swallow when you are rejected for a job, to be told. It demonstrates consideration and respect, both of which speak loudly of a company’s culture. It shows regard for the candidate and gives them the courtesy of closure on the matter so they can move on, and so can you.
From my years in HR, I know rejecting someone for a job is a very touchy subject to communicate. You do not want to get backed into a conversation with a job candidate that can be misconstrued, or lead to claims of discrimination of any kind. Deciding what to share with a candidate as to why they didn’t get the job is a whole separate topic and there are much divided opinions on that across HR and staffing professionals. That article is for another day and not what I am driving at here.
With that aside, a respectful communication should be made to any job candidate once it is determined that they are not being identified for the job or further consideration.
Here are a few tips when you need to reject a candidate after an interview:
Always treat every job candidate with the utmost respect and
consideration. The fact that they aren’t being hired is no less
grounds to neglect them in these areas.
Express appreciation for their time and effort in applying/interviewing
for the job. Never lose sight of the fact that resumes were toiled over,
application processes endured, travel for the interview was extended
and time was spent on researching and preparing.
Provide timely communication to the candidate when they are
not chosen for the job. This way they can continue moving forward
with their job search without wasting time. HR can move forward too
by being conclusive.
Use decisive language in your communication such as “A decision
has been made that you have not been selected to continue through
our hiring process for the position of . . . .”. This language is objective,
clear and speaks from a more neutral zone.
Personalize your communication. Acknowledge the person by name,
the position they applied for and the date they came in for their interview
to demonstrate that attention was given to them as an individual and this is
not part of a mass communication or impersonal corporate rejection letter.
While a letter of rejection for a job is not what a candidate wants to receive, there is the act of respect that goes with this gesture. Despite the disappointment, it provides conclusion on the matter.
What happened to my friends recently, and many in job searches who never get a response following an interview, regrettably is commonplace. As professionals in people-centric, hiring-responsible jobs, we need to ensure that job candidates are treated well during every phase of the hiring cycle, especially when it doesn’t result in a job offer. This type of practice speaks of excellence for each hiring professional, organization and its culture. Job candidates speak and post online. Give them something good to say. When you do the right thing, word gets around.
Once the job offer is made, let us help you create excellence in new hire onboarding
and employee training. Explore the possibilities. Call us at 800-771-8610, visit us at http://www.onboardia.com or Schedule a Demo today.
Cathy A. Reilly is the author of “The Temp Factor: The Complete Guide to Temporary Employment” and Founder/CEO of Onboardia, Inc., HR software.