One of the hardest parts of the interview process is notifying the applicants who didn't make the cut. It's hard to tell someone they didn't get the job, but it is important that you do. The hiring process can be tough on both parties involved. Make it easier with these methods for telling someone they didn't get the job. We'll cover what you need to say, when you should say it, and what your next steps are after this conversation has taken place.
The short answer is: as soon as possible after the decision has been made. Don't leave any applicants hanging. Waiting too long will leave them feeling confused and wondering if they should reach out to you. The sooner you notify the applicants, the sooner they can move on with their job search.
There are many ways to tell someone that they didn't make it through the hiring process.
While it can be a bit less comfortable for you, personal contact via phone is the most courteous way to handle the notification process. It is best to be clear and brief with your communication and to avoid small talk. Before letting them know that you chose to go with another candidate, share a compliment or something they excelled at in the interview. This will help them feel good about themselves and be open to coming back again in the future if there are any other positions available that might be a better fit.
Some applicants may ask you why they weren't chosen for the position. This question is especially common among applicants who made it to later stages in the hiring process and felt that they were a great match. You are not required to offer reasons for hiring a different candidate. If you choose to respond, stick to factors that are strictly relevant to the position they applied for. We recommend that you kindly be straightforward and honest with them.
For example, you might say: The selected candidate has more experience, specific experience, or certification in a particular area. If the process was just highly competitive, let the candidate know that.
After you've notified an applicant about their hiring status with your company, let them know that their resume will be retained for future consideration if another suitable position opens. This can help with future hiring efforts and show your appreciation for the candidate's time and consideration.
Whether they were selected or not, send a thank you to all applicants who interviewed. A quick note to acknowledge their time investment is a courteous gesture that the candidate, and other hiring teams, will appreciate. It's also an excellent opportunity to make a lasting impression and maintain a level of respect with the hiring candidate.
It can be uncomfortable to tell someone they were unsuccessful in landing a position but treat everybody with courtesy and professionalism. In turn, applicants will appreciate the quick and straightforward approach. By following these steps, hiring managers can notify someone that they didn't get the job without the burden of creating a poor candidate experience.