It feels really good to call a candidate, tell them how impressed you are with them and offer them a job with your firm.
However, it sucks to be the bearer of bad news and turn down a candidate, letting them know that you thank them for their time, but they won’t be getting hired.
Since few people actually enjoy being the bad guy, many employers neglect getting back to unsuccessful candidates. But doing so is a necessary evil and does wonders for helping your overall employer brand.
Why is that?
The most common complaint from job seekers is that they never hear anything after their interview. They’re left waiting on pins and needles hoping to hear SOMETHING, whether good or bad.
Even if they didn’t get the job, candidates would much rather hear it from the proverbial horse's mouth, than have to assume they didn’t get the position since they haven’t heard anything after waiting for weeks or months.
As an employer, it is in your interest to formally reject candidates because it demonstrates that you value the time and effort the candidate took to interview with you. The candidate will respect you for having the decency to let them down personally over the phone and give feedback, if appropriate.
Notice I said over the phone and not via email.
Please don’t just send a standard boilerplate email letting them know your decision to not have them go to the next stage.
Call them personally and provide them with any feedback you can. Interviews can be really subjective and a candidate may not know what they’re doing wrong or what skills they can brush up on. Also, they would benefit from knowing what they did right so they can be sure to do it again in their next interview.
So although the candidate did not get the job, they will be grateful that you took the time to call them and give them feedback. Most importantly, they leave with a positive impression of your firm due to your professionalism.