Once you’ve gone through the often exhaustive process of hiring a new employee, do you really have to contact the candidates who didn’t get chosen? Actually, yes, you should. Even if they didn’t get the job, they got close, and they probably wanted the job just as much (and sometimes more) than the candidate who fit the best. Plus, acknowledging candidates who didn’t get chosen will actually improve your reputation in the long run.

In the first place, you really should say something – one study shows that a whopping 94 percent of job applicants get no closure on the position whatsoever. You should strive to make both the hiring and the dismissal of candidates as amicable as possible. Having to contact a company to ask makes candidates feel desperate.

In this day of social media and ease of connection, not responding can burn more than one bridge. Those who hear nothing regarding the job process can share their experiences, sometimes going online to a website such as Glassdoor to put up a negative review of your company – and considering half of all job seekers use Glassdoor, other people will definitely read it. You don’t want to get a reputation as the company that only contacts those it chooses to hire; it speaks poorly to your overall communication skills.

As pointed out, the candidates you didn’t hire may well have had solid qualifications in their own right, and they feel just as much eagerness and nervousness waiting to hear as the person who got it. They should get recognition for getting as far as they did in the process. For the finalists, offering some feedback may prompt them to improve for future interviews … maybe even with your company down the road for a better-fitting position, so offer to stay in touch as well. As soon as possible after you’ve made your final decision, contact those finalists, explain your hiring criteria, and where they fell short. Keep it helpful and professional, and you’ll both walk away feeling a sense of closure.

In general, you should – at the very least – send out a timely letter or email to candidates stating that you thank the person for their time, but you’ve chosen a more suitable candidate who better fits the requirements for the position. If applicable, you may want to inform them that you’re keeping their resume on file and encourage them to apply again in the future for another position. Above all, keep it prompt and professional. Even the most frustrated candidate will acknowledge that you treated them and their time respectfully.

While it’s not easy communicating with the people who didn’t get the job, it will improve your overall standing with potential candidates, if you do. For help with this process, visit PrideStaff.


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