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Friday, August 8, 2008

How to Turn Down an Applicant

You have finally found the perfect match for that open position. They have the right skills, education and experience. So how do you handle the candidates who just didn't make it? Nobody likes to deliver bad news, but the delay can be very painful for the ones not selected.

As I have written in my other articles, common sense and courtesy are great guides to difficult decisions, as well is the golden rule, "Treat others as you would like to be treated." Interviewees have invested time and emotion and are hoping for the best. When they are turned down, it isn't easy for them or you.

Once you have made your selection, promptly reply to the successful candidate. For the unsuccessful candidates, a prompt reply allows for closure. Where possible, email or call as soon as you can. Provide feedback that is helpful, e.g. consider more education, dress more appropriately, improve your resume. These types of positive feedback not only reduce the sting of rejection, but also empower the candidate to improve.

Finally, if the unsuccessful candidates show potential, keep up with them. Consider using LinkedIn or Facebook, or some other kind of social networking tool. That rejected candidate today might be the perfect candidate tomorrow!

1 comment:

Nick McCormick said...

Good advice. Timely and honest feedback is a courtesy that unfortunately is frequently neglected.

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