How to Send a Rejection Email That Job Seekers Will Actually Appreciate
Rejecting a candidate is never fun. They’ve expressed interest in your company and taken the time to apply to your open role. Now, it’s up to you to let them know they weren’t the right fit.
In reality, candidates don’t always find out when they’ve been rejected. According to a survey from CareerBuilder, 75 percent of job seekers never hear back after sending an application, and 60 percent never hear back after having an interview. If they don’t receive any follow-up, these candidates are more likely to view your company in a negative light, and they may share their negative opinion of your company with others.
However, declining a candidate who is interested in your business doesn’t have to be an overwhelming undertaking, as long as you have the right approach and technology. An automated, personalized process can save time and allow you to provide tangible value to candidates. In turn, your team will be able to create a positive candidate experience and boost your employer brand.
Here’s how you can write a rejection email that job seekers will actually appreciate.
Personalize the Message
Many candidates slave over personalized cover letters for hours before applying for a role. In return, hiring teams should always aim to deliver a rejection email that contains basic personal touches, starting with the candidate’s name.
To take personalization beyond just a name and leave candidates feeling positive about their experience with you, it’s important to also include other touches like:
● Things that stood out on the candidate’s application
● Recognition of hard work and a thorough application
● Feedback on the application (if applicable)
When you include these things in a rejection email, candidates walk away with valuable information that can help them improve future applications. By doing this, you give candidates a positive experience with your business, which sets a good expectation about what it’s like to work for you.
Send the Rejection in a Timely Manner
Be sure to send your rejection emails as soon as you’ve made a decision. For candidates, there’s nothing worse than applying for a role and hearing nothing for months on end.
When you delay sending rejection emails, you demonstrate a lack of care for the people who took the time to apply to your open roles. You also illustrate to prospective employees that your hiring process is inefficient and slow. That’s enough to scare candidates off from applying again in the future — which leads us to our next point.
Invite Strong Candidates to Apply Again
Sometimes, you have too many good applicants for one position. Other times, you have applicants whose skills might not fit the job you’re filling but may be suited to other roles you’ll advertise in the future.
A good rejection email will invite strong candidates to apply again in the future. Including this in a rejection email is a great way of showing interest in candidates as professionals and making sure you receive good applicants the next time you recruit.
Say Thank You!
A simple thanks can go a long way in a rejection email. Candidates took time out of their days to apply to your company. Beyond coming across as a bit rude, not saying thank you can impact your employer brand.
Of course, a generic “Thanks for applying” can feel robotic and automated, so be sure to write these words in a way that conveys empathy and respect. This is the least that each candidate (who is another human being on planet Earth) deserves.
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