In every job search, it’s inevitable that some candidates are not going to be hired.

You know what you tell the candidate you’re hiring. But what do you tell the candidates you’re not hiring?

Many organizations simply don’t tell them anything. Seventy percent of companies don’t provide feedback to candidates who aren’t chosen.

In addition, some companies rely on lack of communication to convey to candidates they haven’t been hired. This can be a less-than-optimal method, because lack of communication can be misinterpreted.

Here’s an overview of what to tell the candidates who aren’t hired.

  1. Follow up with the candidate

Follow up with the top candidates from time to time. This is important for nurturing business relationships. If you are in a protracted job search, let them know. It’s a good idea to let them know when the job search has ended, as well.

If there are top candidates who aren’t hired for a specific position, that doesn’t stop them from being good candidates for future positions. Staying in touch allows you to reach out without awkwardness if a new position becomes available.

Your organization’s reputation is also at stake. Candidates who feel they were not communicated with adequately, or not courteously treated, may tell friends and colleagues that. In the age of social media, your hiring practices can be publicly criticized very easily. So following up with candidates is good reputation management, as well as good human resources policy.

  1. Have answers prepared if the candidate asks ”why?”

Most companies don’t provide a specific explanation for not hiring a candidate. However, candidates may get in touch with you asking for feedback.

Some ask for feedback because they are genuinely curious about why they didn’t make the cut. Others want some advice on any areas that might need improvement.

Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to have answers prepared if the candidate asks why. Make notes on the candidates as the decisions are being made so you can respond.

Tactfully convey clear reasons for the choice to the candidate. If the position’s most important qualification was fundraising skills, for example, explaining the candidate chosen had five years of experience rather than the other candidate’s one year is sufficient explanation.

In many cases, though, there are multiple strands leading to a decision. In that case, pointing to a blend and synergy of skills and experience as the reason for the choice is fine.

If a candidate asks for advice on what they could do better, respond tactfully but honestly. If a candidate really does need to brush up on interviewing skills or qualifications, for example, advise them to do that.

But if the candidate was very good and just wasn’t chosen for a particular slot, convey that and wish them good luck.

A Staffing Agency Can Help

Staffing agencies can assist you in every step of the hiring process. We can recruit, screen and get back to candidates after the hiring process is over. Put Graham Staffing Services to work for you by contacting us today. And if you’re looking for work, apply with us.