How to Turn Down a Job Applicant

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Step 1.

respect_Thumb.jpg Decide to treat the rejected candidates with respect. You have finally found the perfect match for that open position. They have the right skills, education and experience. So how do you handle the candidates who just didn’t make it? Nobody likes to deliver bad news, but the delay can be very painful for the ones not selected.

As I have written in my other articles, common sense and courtesy are great guides to difficult decisions, as well is the golden rule, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Interviewees have invested time and emotion and are hoping for the best. When they are turned down, it isn’t easy for them or you. A quick response is a sign of respect.

Step 2.

email_Thumb.jpg Like taking off a Band-Aid, do it quick! Once you have made your selection, promptly reply to the successful candidate. For the unsuccessful candidates, a prompt reply allows for closure. Where possible, email or call as soon as you can.

Candidates are probably interviewing elsewhere. A quick response allows them to set their strategy and make better decisions. Besides, nobody likes to be left dangling in the breeze.

Step 3.

feedback_Thumb.jpg Offer feedback. Provide feedback that is helpful, e.g. consider more education, dress more appropriately, improve your resume. These types of positive feedback not only reduce the sting of rejection, but also empower the candidate to improve. While this person may not be right for you, with some tweaks, they may be a better fit for someone else.

Step 4.

shake01_Thumb.jpg Stay connected! Finally, if the unsuccessful candidates show potential, keep up with them. Consider using LinkedIn or Facebook, or some other kind of social networking tool. That rejected candidate today might be the perfect candidate tomorrow!

This and other great management advice can be found at “Ask a Manager ,”


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