When to Say “No” to Qualified Candidates

As a hiring manager, HR executive or recruiter, there comes a time when you need to say no to qualified candidates. The reasons will vary, but the situation will always be difficult because of their qualifications. Who ever thought that companies would need to turn down qualified candidates for open jobs?

The truth of the matter is that this actually happens in today’s business world. So, when does this type of situation arise – when do you know to say “no” to a candidate who is otherwise qualified?

Position Has Been Filled

One of the most common reasons why you will need to say no to qualified candidates is that the position has been filled by someone else. You might receive 50 or more resumes for your job opening and you will likely have a handful of them turn into qualified candidates. This means that one person will be chosen and three or four of them will receive disappointing news. You must have tact when informing other qualified candidates that someone else has been chosen. Be honest with them and thank them for applying.

Position Has Been Eliminated

It is quite possible that open jobs at companies could be eliminated even after a search to fill them has already begun. Reasons for eliminating the position will vary, but you should never string along candidates if you know the position is going to be cut from the payroll. Maybe the job duties have been distributed to current employees. Maybe there isn’t enough room left in the budget for the position. Or, maybe there isn’t enough work for the position to be filled right now. Whatever the reason, be sure you tell the candidates as soon as possible so they can look elsewhere for work.

Position Has Been Changed

It is also possible that the position could have changed between the time it became available and the time you began vetting potential candidates to fill it. If this is the case, you might have a couple of qualified candidates who no longer will be in the running for the job. This means you will have to say no to them. Make sure you explain that the position has been altered and that even though they were qualified previously, your company is moving in another direction.

Candidate is Overqualified

Another reason for saying no to a candidate is the fact that he or she might be overqualified for the position. Companies tend to shy away from hiring overqualified candidates due to one major issue; the candidate, once hired, could become bored with the job and begin causing issues at the workplace. This is when a company’s culture could take a major hit.
As you can see, there are a few common reasons why you might need to say “no” to a qualified candidate. Just make sure you handle the rejection with tact and professionalism so as not to create a bad image for your company. Keep the candidate in mind for future opportunities and if you can, offer them another position that’s suitable for their skills, or refer them to a staffing agency that can place them into a position sooner.




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