Once the dust has settled, and the right candidate is chosen, there is another part of the recruitment process that is often (unfortunately) overlooked by Hiring Managers and employers – the dreaded email to unsuccessful candidates. It would be useful to build a template email to ease the process and make it more straightforward when it comes to sending feedback, especially to multiple candidates. As with everything else in the recruitment and workplace it is crucial to treat the person on the receiving end of the news with respect. If you act with that mindset, it will all fall into place.

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It is worth remembering that a candidate should be treated the same way a customer would. After their interaction with the company, they will go back into the world with an impression of you and your company. Giving feedback will provide closure to the candidacy process and will allow the candidates to develop a positive association with your company. They won’t hesitate to apply again for a future role – and they might just be the right fit. They also might refer your organisation to another potential candidate and you never know.

Do not put it off

The number one rule for informing unsuccessful candidates is to avoid putting it off. The longer you stretch out the recruitment process, the less likely a candidate will appreciate it and therefore it’s far less likely they will apply again in the future. If a candidate has made it to the interview stage, especially, they deserve to know where they stand.

Show them you appreciate their interest

Candidates typically spend a significant amount of time invested in the application process – adapting their CV to the position advertised, attending interviews (an unnerving part of the process), researching your company and gaining a better understanding of an organisation’s culture. Showing gratitude for their time and interest is simply respectful.

Be honest

Informing unsuccessful candidates why they weren’t chosen will be appreciated. It offers them a better understanding of what they can improve on. This will show them what to focus on and improve, as well as what skills to work on should they want to apply again for a similar role in the future.

Respond to follow-up questions

A candidate might reply back with follow-up questions. Be sure to reply with due consideration and maintain professionalism. Once again, a positive association with your company will make it more likely that a candidate reapplies in the future.

Let them know how they did if a test was involved

It is already tedious that a candidate has to go through the added hurdle in the recruitment process of taking a test for their role or preparing a task connected to a brief. The least you could do is give them feedback on what went wrong. If it is simply a case that another candidate did better, let them know accordingly. It is worth informing the candidate on how they did on the test compared to their competition.

Suggest other areas they may be excellent in

If the candidate’s skills stand out to you as excellent or adaptable to another role or opportunity, let them know. Avoid making promises, but do let them know if there is a position coming up which they might be suitable for and which they can apply for.

Use an email template

If you are providing feedback in writing, you would do well to start with a thank you and appreciation note for their application and their time. The second point in the email should be the feedback itself. Here, briefly summarise why they were unsuccessful and provide notes on what they can improve on. This will make your decision more transparent and honest. Finally, wish them luck and well wishes in their job-hunting endeavour.

The bottom line is to treat all candidates with respect. They showed interest and took the time to apply so the least you could do is be honest, timely and provide closure. This will end your interaction on a positive note – and that is always a win.