A job search can be stressful, no matter how seasoned or qualified someone is. Much of the stress is caused when companies fail to respond to applicants for weeks following an interview. A good practice is to send out a rejection letter promptly to all the candidates who did not get chosen for an employment opportunity this round.
Regardless of what you may think, job seekers like rejection letters – well sort of – because they have a final answer from the company about the job. They at least appreciate the fact that your company has taken the time to personally let them know the outcome so they can move on.
Read on to learn how to handle sending out candidate rejection letters.
Follow Up with a Phone Call First
The first thing you need to do is follow up with the candidate with a phone call. The call should inform the candidate that the company has already offered, or will make an offer, to another candidate for the job. Then, make sure you thank the candidate for their time and assure them that their information will be kept on file for any future openings. The follow-up phone call should not be the last piece of communication. It should be followed by the rejection letter.
How to Write the Rejection Letter
One of the most important things you must include in a rejection letter is how much you appreciate the time the candidate took during the application and interview process. You also need to be as personal as possible. Never address the letter as, “To whom it may concern.” Make sure you use the candidate’s first name. Also, mention something positive you noticed about the candidate from the interview. This will show them you care.
The rejection letter must get right to the point, even if you have already called the candidate and spoken to them on the phone about the decision. Do not ramble on about the company, the candidate’s experience, or anything else. The sooner you get to the point, the sooner the candidate will be able to accept the rejection and move towards applying for more jobs.
If the candidate would fit nicely in your corporate culture, and might be a fit for other open jobs, make sure you mention this in your rejection letter. Even though you are sending a rejection letter for this job, it does not mean the candidate will not find employment at your company. Encourage them to apply for other open jobs, but only do so if you truly believe they will be successful at your company. This means that you should never tell a candidate something you do not mean in the letter. It can come back to haunt you in the future.
One final tip; the rejection letter is your company’s final opportunity to make a good impression on the candidate, who will surely tell colleagues about your application process. Be sure you come across as professional as possible.