Why you should talk to your rejected candidates

If you’re an employer trying to fill a position at your company, chances are you’ve been through dozens of interviews with job hunters that are likely desperate for work. After putting in time and effort for their interview, at the end of the day they just weren’t the right fit for your company, but now they want to know why. What do you do?

The modern job market is ruthless. Most companies have a policy of “if you don’t hear from us in X weeks, your application has been unsuccessful”, which can leave job seekers despondent and left in the dark as to why they were turned down for the position. Sometimes, however, it might be in your best interests as an employer to reach out to these people or engage with them when they come knocking with that dreaded question, “Why was I rejected?”

Reach out and touch base

First thing’s first: once the interview is over and you’ve made your decision, you are under no obligation to remain in contact with a failed applicant. If you’re faced with the question of why they were turned down, remember that you don’t have to give them an explanation. Also remember, however, that it can impact how people might approach your business in the future.

Offering candid feedback can help a job seeker find out where they went wrong and offer them insights as to how they can improve their approach to job interviews. This not only helps them see the chinks in their own armour, but can also help you give them some pointers as to what you are looking for in an employee and perhaps point them in the right direction to help them apply again in the future.

These situations can be especially helpful if you had to turn down a good candidate because there was a better or more experienced one waiting in the wings. Although you may not have space for them now, interacting positively with an unsuccessful candidate can maintain their interest in your company and perhaps encourage them to reapply at a later stage once they have more training or experience.

Keeping up appearances

Another positive aspect that providing feedback can offer is how it reflects on your company’s public image. Finding a job in the current market is no small feat, so for job seekers to get feedback is a pretty big deal. This can not only encourage them to apply again in the future, but also encourage other job seekers to consider you based on how you deal with people.

People skills are crucial for the survival of a company. According to Forbes Magazine, how you treat job applicants during the application process can impact on their opinion of your company. Providing feedback is something that might take your hiring manager a few minutes to do but the impact it can have on your business can be much further reaching. In order to maintain a positive public image, you need to everything you can to keep people on your side.

Clearing the air

The problem a lot of companies make today during the hiring process is to make it cold and distant, such as the previously mentioned trend of leaving unsuccessful candidates in the dark. Job seekers often want to know why they were turned down because it helps them adjust their approach in the hopes of future success.

In situations where candidates aren’t given reasons for their failed applications, they might start to make connections where there aren’t any. This is a slippery slope that could come back to bite you if a candidate decides to act on what they might have perceived as unfair treatment or even discrimination from your company.

Communication is again key here. Instead of letting these kinds of situation snowball out of control and, heaven forbid, make their way to social media, rather take the time to reach out and engage with these people who used their valuable time to apply for a position at your company. This can help you keep things positive and encourage job seekers to strive for self-improvement and create goodwill between yourself and the people your company deals with.