How To Humanise Your Company Rejection Letters
No candidate wants to receive an impersonal, formulaic company rejection letter.
The truth is that recruiters dislike sending out rejection letters almost as much as candidates hate receiving them. However, by applying a few simple rules, it is easy to humanise your company’s rejection letters and turn the process into a more positive experience for all concerned.
Candidates will have invested countless hours into the interview process. The least you can do in return is to take the time to compose a rejection letter specifically tailored to them. And while its unfeasible to send a detailed letter to each and every applicant, candidates who were shortlisted and went through several interview stages deserve a more personalised approach.
How your company handles rejection letters is integral to the candidate experience and can do wonders for your employer brand. By doing away with robotic templated rejections, you can show candidates that your company is different, more approachable. This will be noticed and will foster a more positive view of you as an employer in the long run.
Here are a few easy tips to ensure your rejections are filled with compassion and humanity.
Cut to the chase
Candidates will be eagerly awaiting a reply after their final interview. So, there’s no use beating around the bush in your rejection letter. It is unfair to expect applicants to read through a lengthy email, only for it to be revealed towards the end that they didn’t get the job. Therefore, state the purpose of the email towards the top. Break the news in a professional but gentle manner. The news will certainly sting. It’s how you compose the rest of the letter that will soften the blow and inject a degree of compassion and humanity into the process.
It almost goes without saying that your rejection letter will thank the candidate. However, sometimes the thank yous can feel a little mechanical. The trick here is to convey genuine appreciation. After all, the applicant could have applied for countless other jobs. Yet, from all the jobs out there, they specifically pursued a role with your organisation. For some, this may have even been their dream role. It’s a genuine privilege to know that candidates are invested in your company. So, acknowledge this in the rejection letter. Thank them for their time and energy. Show that you appreciate that within a busy job market, they singled your company out for their next career move.
Personalise each letter
Your shortlist candidates will have gone through several stages of interviews. They’ve taken the time to research your company and prepare detailed answers for a barrage of in-depth questions. They may have even been asked to perform a job-related task or to give a presentation. After all this effort, it can feel greatly disheartening to receive a faceless blanket rejection letter that could have been written to anyone.
Personalising each rejection letter is a nice touch and will go a long way in making a candidate feel as if they have been considered and evaluated on an individual basis. All it takes is a simple reference to a positive attribute or noting a line of conversation that came up during their interview. These are concise but effective ways to show candidates that despite not getting the job, they did make an impression and their efforts were not in vain.
A little feedback goes a long way
Going into a detailed analysis of the candidate’s performance is not recommended, nor is it practical. However, offering a little insight into why you’ve chosen to pass on a candidate will offer them valuable, actionable insight. Make mention of why you chose someone else. If it was a question of experience or their proficiency with a specific skill set, this will give candidates something to work with and the opportunity to improve and better themselves professionally. It’s also easier for candidates to accept a rejection when they can more fully understand what your company was looking for.
Identify their strengths
The job selection process can be brutal at times. Candidates are being judged again and again, and sometimes, despite their best efforts, it can feel as if they’re always lacking in some way. Identifying a strength is a great way to instil a bit of positivity among the rejection. Again, be specific. Did you like their interviewing style? Was one of their professional achievements particularly impressive? If there genuinely are positive attributes that made a candidate stand out, acknowledge them. This will show candidates where their strengths lie and will empower them to face their next interview with confidence.
Leave the door open
Just because a candidate wasn’t the right fit for this role, doesn’t mean they aren’t a good fit for your company. If you liked a candidate and believe they have something to offer your organisation, encourage them to apply for other roles that may pop up in the future. You may also want to reopen the conversation with a candidate at a later date. So, check if they’d be happy to be considered for any other roles and whether it’s ok to keep their files on record.
Need help with developing an employer branding strategy that achieves results? Then contact Exacta Solutions today.