The (Right) Way To Tell Candidates They Didn’t Get The Job

This is probably the least favorite part of any recruiter’s job. Nobody likes to deliver bad news. Disappointing someone who took the time to go through your hiring process isn’t fun. And yet, how we choose to let a candidate down says a lot about our recruiter brand. Notice I said “choose.” That’s because you really do need to be intentional about how you contact and share this news with a candidate. They will always remember how you made them feel. Your treatment of this situation will determine what they think about the company going forward. That's why it's essential that you tell candidates they didn't get the job in the right way.


Emailing a rejection to a late-stage candidate is a cop-out.

One of the most important things you can do to keep your reputation as a professional recruiter is to call candidates who made it to the final round of your interview process but didn’t get the job. It’s important they hear the sincerity in your voice. They need to know that they didn’t “fail.” Rather, it was a case of one candidate having a bit more experience or skill sets. You also want to make sure they will stay in touch with you in the event another position comes available. Think of it this way: you’ve vetted them all the way through your process, wouldn’t it be easier to hire them at a later date then to start the search all over for a new candidate? This is the very essence of why we as recruiters need to keep a talent pipeline. You just never know when that candidate that came in second place could become the ideal candidate for another role in your organization.

Don’t make these rookie rejection mistakes!

In this video, Ed and J.T. walk you through the classic mistakes recruiters make when rejecting candidates. These are the things that can seriously damage your recruiter brand. They also map out the best way to deliver rejection and why it’s so crucial you rise above and deliver it properly. Don’t be the recruiter that makes candidates post negative reviews about your hiring process on Glassdoor. Close the feedback loop and do your best to let them down easy. J.T. and Ed will show you how!

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