A rejection letter is not the most pleasant thing to stumble upon in your mailbox. It may be one of the least favourite emails of all time. Almost everyone with very few exceptions, has a memory of that great opportunity missed and that terrible email received. Although it is hard to sugar coat a rejection, it may not necessarily be the end of something. On the contrary, a well-crafted, timely and genuinely informal rejection letter may be the start of something; start of brand loyalty and future prospect for your talent pool. The opposite is also true, a bad one means trouble for your brand. A recent study reveals that refusal procedures greatly affect willingness to re-apply and fairness perception.
First thing’s first, the rule of thumb here is to give feedback to every candidate, with no exceptions.
Imagine if you were looking for a job. You get invited for an interview, which in your opinion is successful. Recruiters are nice (as always), smile and promise to get back to you within a week, followed by silence. You probably would be disappointed to say the least. It is the kind of unpleasant situation that is told to friends and family later on, creating a negative word of mouth around your employer brand, that you work so hard to build.
So before you choose to disappear or remain silent, think about how it will affect the general attitude of candidates towards the company.
Rejection letter can help leverage your employer brand
Companies that provide fast, high-quality feedback keep candidates loyal. There is a chance that they will recommend your company to their friends and acquaintances, even if they themselves were refused. Otherwise, you are sure to run into a flurry of negativity.
A timely and clear rejection can keep the candidate willing to work for you later. Providing feedback regarding skills and competencies will enable candidates to improve their skills and possibly try their chance with your company again. So it is important to keep your candidates motivated and interested throughout the entire journey.
The product brand and the employer's brand are interconnected. If you maintain a positive attitude of the candidate towards the company, you can get a new client.
How to pick communication channel?
If you are willing to leverage your employer brand through rejection letters, let’s decide on the channel.
Phone, e-mail or messengers like Watsapp or instagram DM are amongst your options.
E-mail is the most convenient way to write detailed individual feedback, describe competencies and hard skills that did not meet the criteria.
You can opt to reject your candidate through Messenger, however if you would like to get back to the candidate after a while, correspondence about rejection will be the latest message and it's always better to end on a positive note.
Calling your candidate is always an option, though requiring more time than any other. It gives you an opportunity to talk all pros and cons down, however phone conversations are easily forgotten.
How to write a rejection letter?
As in any kind of feedback, it is important to structure your rejection letter and make sure you maintain positive tone of voice:
- Write what you liked about the candidate.
- Describe the reason for the refusal as clearly and understandably as possible: what competencies the candidate lacked and what mistakes were made during the interview / test.
- Attach useful useful literature for upgrading the necessary skills if possible.
- Offer to keep in touch through social networks.
- Indicate information about the company: links to meetups, youtube-channel, social networks.
Busy Recruiter Life Hacks
We can almost hear you say: but there are sooo many candidates, how can I possibly find time to give feedback to all?
We feel your pain and are here to offer a few recruiter life hacks:
- Bounce templates. It is worth working out a good template once and using it in the future. It saves a lot of time!
Interview feedback form for interviewees, to be used later in rejection letter:
- How did you like the candidate?
- What skills does he lack?
- Recommendations: what to study and read. If it's a streaming job, you can create a general list with helpful literature.
- Dedicated slots in the calendar for the task "Feedback to candidates".
- If there is no time at all, and there are a lot of candidates – create a general rejection template for those who did not fit. It is still better than leaving the person wondering.
- Peoplise platform has built-in customisable templates to schedule and ensure timely and customized feedback to all your candidates, for every step of candidate journey.
There are always two sides of the story, so getting feedback from rejected candidates in anonymous surveys will let you collect feedback about your selection process and improve necessary parts.