What to Say to the Candidates You Don’t Hire

You’ve made it through the rounds of interviewing potential employees and your team has narrowed it down to the top person. Finding a candidate is taxing enough, but what about those that you don’t hire? They’ve gone through a long process too, and it’s important to provide some closure. This post is designed to help with what to say to the candidates you don’t hire.

Most importantly, be timely in a response. Don’t leave the candidate hanging for weeks on end. Although the candidate may not be the one for this specific position, they could be an employee in the future. You don’t want to lose out on great future employees just because you didn’t want to follow up.

When it comes time to tell the candidate why they weren’t hired, refer back to the job description and selection criteria. Pick out the top points and use them as your guide. Maybe the candidate did meet three out of the four points, but that one point they missed was a crucial one. Or maybe the candidate didn’t meet any of your crucial points.  Either way, you need to be honest (but polite) in your feedback.

Let the candidate know that even though they were qualified for the position, there were some aspects they lacked experience in. Be specific then suggest ways they can improve on that experience to make them a more qualified candidate down the road. For example, maybe the candidate lacked copywriting skills. Suggest they take a course in copywriting and maybe start a blog for practice. It’s important to give suggestions on how they can improve rather than just saying they weren’t the right fit and moving on.

Try to stay in touch with the candidates you really liked.  Establish a relationship, as you never know when you’ll cross paths again. As we mentioned before, the candidate may not be right for the current opening, but they may be a great fit for something else. For more tips on what to say to the candidates you don’t hire, contact our experienced staffing team today.

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