Best Practices When Rejecting Candidates

As an employer, it can be very tough to reject candidates. Additionally, with such a high volume of applicants, interviewees, and prospective hires, you will likely be faced with the challenge of turning several candidates away each time you open up a new position. Because it is such a common yet challenging task, it’s best to plan how to reject candidates most professionally and respectfully possible. So, here are our tips to follow while rejecting candidates feasibly:

Tips to Follow while Rejecting Candidates

Rejection in the Application Phase 

Many companies do not usually notify candidates that their application is not moving forward. However, if you decide to do this, it’s essential to be clear in your rejection email.

Rejection in Application Phase - Best Practices when Rejecting Candidates - Oorwin

Here are a few ideas you can use the next time:

  1. Let the candidate know that their application was not accepted, but also thank them for applying and remind them that they are welcome to apply for roles in the future.
  2. Make sure that you avoid same-day rejections, in any case. Wait 2-3 days before reaching out to a candidate to avoid suggesting that you did not spend time vetting the candidate. 
  3.  If you use an Application Tracking System (ATS), ensure you input the correct criteria and audit your system regularly to avoid accidentally rejecting candidates who meet your desired qualifications.
  4. It is also essential to automate this process and email template to prevent writing and sending several emails. 

For more information on how an Applicant Tracking System can help you with the hiring process, check out our article on AI-Enabled Candidate Matching. 


Rejection After the Phone Screen 

Rejection after Phone Screen - Best Practices when Rejecting Candidates - Oorwin

If you have decided that the candidate is not a good fit after conducting a phone screen, it’s best to reject them in writing or via phone call within 1-2 days.

Doing this will allow the candidate to ask questions and understand why they were not selected. Be clear about what disqualified them and express appreciation for their time. 

When sending your email, make sure to provide actionable feedback as well. Transparency with candidates is very beneficial to your employer brand and will aid in the professional development of your rejected candidates.

You should also be open to discussion; if the candidate has questions, be sure to answer them. 


Rejection After the In-Person Interview 

Rejection after Interview - Best Practices when Rejecting Candidates - Oorwin

You have already developed a special relationship with the candidate at the interview stage, and they have interacted with your company several times. Therefore, rejecting them requires extra consideration.

It is best to proceed with a templated email that thanks to the candidate for their time and reiterates that they were not selected, but you may also call them at your discretion. 

The most important thing for candidates in this stage is to avoid giving them vague commentary that does not explain why they were not selected. Instead, focus on constructive feedback that will help them improve their candidacy for future roles. 


Rejecting Candidates After an Offer 

Rejection after Offer - Best Practices when Rejecting Candidates - Oorwin

It is never an easy task to reject a candidate after you have offered them a job, but it occasionally needs to be done (such as background check failure).

The best way to do this is to let the candidate know via a phone call. Calling them will allow them to ask questions and understand the decision made. 

When rejecting a candidate after extending them an offer, you need to remember that the company’s reputation is also on the line. Therefore, you should justify why you did not select the candidate and how their profile did not meet the job qualifications to receive closure. 

Rejecting candidates is never easy, and it is something that you will have to do throughout your career.

However, by following these best practices and being transparent with candidates, you can ensure that they are not discouraged from applying for future roles within your company or elsewhere.

With this, we come to an end to this article on the best practices to follow while rejecting candidates. So, if you are interested to know more about Oorwin’s products and implementation, take a product tour today or contact us on +91-8977801805 / USA: +1877-766-7946 to talk to our product advisors.