Don’t avoid that difficult conversation with unsuccessful job candidates

COVID-19 has resulted in mass job cuts and redundancies in the employment market, leaving many forced to brush up on their interviewing skills and get back in the ring to secure work. But many jobseekers are being left with a bitter taste in their mouth, and a common story is being told. Applicants are attending countless interviews with multiple rounds, jumping through hoops and waiting long periods to hear an outcome, if there is one at all. Many employers are failing to communicate a candidate’s outcome post-interview, leaving scores of hopefuls in limbo.

It’s unfair on a candidate who has taken the time and effort to attend an interview not to give them the respect of follow-up communication. And still many employers and recruiters fail to communicate the outcome of an interview. Why? The issue I believe lies in human nature. No matter how many times you’ve had to deliver bad news to an employee or unsuccessful candidate, no one likes to be the bearer of bad news. Telling someone that they have failed is difficult, and understandably some would rather avoid the conversation.

Here’s how to provide a positive recruiting process for the candidate, streamlining communication without having to dive straight into an awkward conversation:

Update your Customer Relationship Management system (CRM)

It’s near impossible to respond to the amount of people who are applying for some jobs these days, competition is huge therefore process times have increased dramatically. For this reason, it’s important to have a system that can handle large quantities of data.

Create a transparent communication pathway

In many CRMs, you can mass select candidates and deliver the same templated email. This may seem impersonal but it is the most efficient way of managing candidate expectations quickly and transparently. Send an initial email explaining that only successful (or shortlisted) candidates would be contacted post-interview. Following the interviews, the unsuccessful candidates should be sent an email saying that unfortunately they were unsuccessful at this time and to make contact if they would like to receive feedback.

Don’t be afraid to give people feedback

No one likes to fail, however it’s important that if applicants request feedback that you provide it in a timely manner. By offering constructive criticism, as well as highlighting their strengths, you are adding value to their experience. Where reputation is everything, a productive conversation will turn a negative into a positive, and help the candidate develop and improve for their next interview.

Leave the relationship in an encouraging and optimistic manner

No matter if a candidate performed well or poorly, it is always worthwhile leaving the conversation in a positive manner. Your paths may cross again in the future – you may end up working for them yourself! Creating a positive experience will help boost the reputation for your brand, which is vital within today’s competitive recruitment environment.

Lezly D’Limi, Managing Director, Tailored Resources

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