Today, we know that rejecting candidates is not the favorite part of the selection process, but as recruiters it’s important to do it in the most friendly, personal, and professional way possible.
Indeed, there are two ways to deal with rejection: it can either be a bad moment or an opportunity. It's up to each to decide!
First, there is no magic way to say No to a candidate! It must above all fit with the experience, the values and the brand of the company. It’s also important to put oneself in the candidates’ shoes to find the best way to support them around the rejection. Because no, it's not about just saying No!
Not just a No! 🧐
The way to handle rejection will influence several things on the company side. First, it will impact the corporate image. The company needs to leave a good feeling with the candidates because later it may have to deal with them again.
These same candidates could also talk to other candidates about the company. So, the good impression is essential! The No is part of the candidate experience as much as the rest of the process, so it is important to handle it well.
Then, a No will potentially influence the teams. Indeed, the collaborators who are going to manage it can learn a lot from the management of a No! They will be able to improve the candidate experience, their productivity and their soft skills.
Finally, the way of dealing with a No will have an impact on the lives of the candidates. The communication and feedback will be valuable to them. All companies should make sure that it is useful for everybody! At least that's what we think at Ekkiden! So we try to turn this opportunity into a growth chance for the candidates.
There may not be a single magic way to decline an application, from Ekkiden’s team we have some tips to share from our different processes!
Communication is key! 🗣️
We know that candidates invest part of their time in applying to the vacancies. If we receive an application that from the beginning is not a good fit for the position, we don’t wait until the end of the process to give feedback.
If on the other hand we have gone ahead with a candidate who reached the final stage but unfortunately was not selected, we try to be quick to share the decision to the candidate. We try to be proactive around communication and to be completely transparent so that the candidate feels supported at every stage.
The importance of personalization 👽
Gone are the days of Dear Sir/Madam. To offer a good candidate experience, we decide to go beyond a general thank you. Yes, we know that writing a personalized email or making a call may take more time, but it's a plus, and a positive step in maintaining a good relationship with the candidates. And it is always more pleasant for them to receive a personalized email.
We know that it is not easy to receive a negative answer, so we try to be as close as possible to the candidates. We make sure that candidates feel that we are speaking directly to them, and only to them. Not that our email was copied and pasted and sent to everyone. This will leave help them get over the No.
Honesty and straight to the point 🎯
Then, we want to be frank but gentle in our language you use. Again, depending on the stage of the candidate, it’s important for us to share follow up calls or emails with the candidate mainly to thank him/her for the time spent during the process, and then share the concrete reasons why the person was not selected for the position.
We think it is important to give feedback to the candidates! It will be valuable for them and will allow them to improve for the future. We can explain them why their application didn’t move forward, it’s important to help them to improve and to learn from that experience.
In our team, we make sure to contact all our candidates (or at least most of them) to give them all the information about their process, and maybe why they were ruled out for the opportunity. And what if the candidate feels the information is too generic? We make sure to give more details on how to improve for their next application.
We ask for a feedback! 📣
As a company, it’s also important to know how to improve processes, so asking for feedback will show candidates that their opinion also matters and that we want to structure a fair selection process.
For us, the opinion of our candidates and employees is key to our quest for improvement. And of course, we try to share it with everyone on portals like Glassdoor so that people can learn more about us.
May we meet again! 🤝
When a candidate has applied for a job in Ekkiden and we have rejected him/her, we know that he/she may one day apply to our company again. Especially if we leave a good impression! So, we don't hesitate to tell them about the different possibilities we offer and what he/she could do to better meet our expectations. And this is even more relevant because we are a company that recruits a lot! There are many opportunities and even if a candidate is not right for one position, he or she may be right for another soon.
For example, one of the advantages of staying in touch with Ekkiden is that we have infinite possibilities within the world of technology, industry, quality, pharma, and biotech, as well as clients from sectors as varied as transportation, retail, finance, or non-profit organizations (NGO’s).
We ensure that our careers page is clear and offers ambitious and challenging positions for our potential candidates.
To build positivity 😁
We know that the rejection of an application requires optimism, but this is precisely one of the values we seek to promote within our team and in our candidates. We thrive to constantly bring a positive happy work environment to allow for inclusivity, personal growth, and professional development.
So, for every No candidates get from us, they'll get one step closer to getting a “yes”. So, we try to help them to learn from every experience and always keep constructive thinking to take care of them mentally, emotionally, and physically. 🧘
And it is possible to say No and still be positive! There is no reason that a rejection should be negative and sad. The way you say it (email, call...), the intonation, the words chosen and exchanged, the advice... Everything can be done in an optimistic way!
It’s not goodbye but a see you soon 🫂
Rejecting a candidate doesn’t mean forgetting about them, there are plenty of ways to stay in touch with the candidates. And it is even essential to keep in touch with them because as mentioned earlier you may be in touch again in the short or long term.
In Ekkiden, we offer the opportunity to be part of our community, TogetherbyTech, where candidates can discover and participate in content creation, events, discussions and to find the best tactics and tips from our recruiting team in order to keep improving their job search and tech career. 🙌
After all, selection processes are an opportunity for mutual learning, and from Ekkiden we are ready to be with you on each stage on the search for your next professional challenge. We also want to inspire our candidates with our various content and with our podcast Innovation Leaders that interview tech and innovation leaders of today.
We do our best 💖
More than just an application, applying for a job is an opportunity not to be missed. It can be a new professional start if the answer is positive. And if it is negative, it is a real opportunity to learn, share, improve and keep smiling. It all depends on how the No is handled! In any case, on our side, we try to do our best!