Build Goodwill with the Candidates You Don’t Hire

Build Goodwill with the Candidates You Don’t Hire

During your interview process, you may become exhausted and frustrated with a lack of quality candidates…But if you’re like most hiring managers, you’re more likely to experience the opposite: more great candidates than you can ever reasonably bring on board. If you only have one open position, you’re probably going to face at least two applicants—and possibly several more — who you’ll have to turn away, even if you’re impressed with their qualifications and personalities. So, what can you do to make the rejection process a little easier — for both of you? How can you say goodbye but still leave your excellent applicant with a feeling of positivity and goodwill that might carry over into a potential working relationship at some point in the future? Keep these considerations in mind.

Answer quickly.

Cut quickly through paperwork bottlenecks, HR hassles, overlapping vacations, and other workplace priorities to reach your hiring decision quickly. An efficient, expedient process and a timely decision demonstrate respect for the candidate. Drawing things out will breed resentment, and rightly so. Your candidate has important decisions and plans riding on this outcome, just like you.

Provide feedback if you can.

If an applicant asks for an explanation, it’s okay to keep your cards close to the vest, since too much sharing can open your decision to scrutiny and your company to potential legal action. But if you have harmless, positive feedback to offer, the benefits of sharing can outweigh the risks. For example, if your candidate was highly qualified but the next in line had an additional degree and a few more years of relevant experience, explaining this can put potential resentment and self-doubt to rest.

If you’d like to keep the relationship open, say so.

If you have no further interest in maintaining a relationship, that’s fine. But if you’d like the rejected applicant to keep checking your website and applying for future opportunities, make this clear. Most applicants won’t do this unless they’re invited. Open lines of communication are a two-way responsibility, and after applying in good faith and being turned away, potential employees will typically close the door. If you’d prefer to stay in contact or you’d like to keep the candidate’s resume on file, let them know.

Give them something.

The strongest possible gesture of goodwill may come from the offer of a small gift or token that shows genuine interest, appreciation, and respect. Providing a discount on the company’s products can sow positive seeds, and so can signing the applicant up for a subscription or service that supports their job search, like a series of online interview tutorials.

Work with a top staffing agency in Scottsdale.

Do you need quality candidates for your open positions? Our team at the ACCENT Hiring Group is ready to help. Contact us today to work with a top staffing agency in Scottsdale.


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