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Unsuccessful Candidates – How Do You Treat Yours?

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When looking for staff you will no doubt be aware of how to conduct yourself during an interview. You will also have an understanding of what to do if you have a successful candidate you’d like to hire. But do you know one of the biggest mistakes you could be making after you’ve received applications from hopeful candidates?

Your successful candidate is the lucky one. They have your attention, along with an offer letter and contract… but what about those other candidates who weren’t successful? The biggest complaint job hunters have is the lack of contact after applying for a position – both when their interview has finished and if they weren’t selected for an interview in the first place… and this could be directly damaging your business.

Sorry, you’ve been unsuccessful…

As a basic courtesy you should be sending (or emailing) a ‘sorry, you’ve been unsuccessful’ letter to all applicants. This will at least let them know what an earth is going on. If you really want to stand out as a great employer though, it is worth spending just a little more time and giving them a personalised, helpful response in the form of feedback.

Give feedback

Candidate feedback is essentialThis only has to be a couple of sentences, something that can help them to improve their chances in the future – whether that’s with your company or in the job market generally. Most candidates would appreciate the opportunity to know exactly how to improve their skills and interview techniques. If other candidates were stronger, explain what areas this entailed. If they scored low marks in a skills test, let them know what their score was, along with the areas in which they were weak.

Respect both the candidate and their time

Above all, respect them – they gave up their time to be interviewed – you can spend a few minutes giving them advice in return. When you offer feedback, remember to treat them like a human being and keep your personal opinions out of it, just stick to facts they can actually work with. Give them examples, if at all possible and something they can really use to improve their future job hunting chances, for example, they may not have the skills suited for the type of job they’re applying for, or they could have improved their chances if they’d researched your company prior to interview.

Providing constructive feedback not only helps them, but will ensure your business stands head and shoulders above the rest. After all, they may not be on your short-list this time around, but next time you’re recruiting, they may just end up being exactly what you need.

photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc

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