Part of the recruitment process means we must follow up with candidates that we do not select for the role. Yes it’s not an easy part of the process because it means having difficult conversations with people but it’s essential in creating a great experience.

Candidates today say how they feel as though when they send their resume in it’s as if it goes into a black hole, and well over the majority of the time they never hear anything. By connecting with those candidates you show that someone took the time to handle these hard conversations when most employers won’t. Don’t forget those candidates could be potential customers to your business or maybe one day a future employee.

So who will you be declining? You will be declining candidates that you had some touch point with. So that could mean those that just sent you their resume or the ones you phone screened all the way to the ones you had a face to face interview with.

The candidates that can get forgotten about sometimes are the ones who took the time out of their day put their resume together and send it to you. You still need to circle back with those candidates and let them know the role has been filled.

These candidates can be sent an email stating something like this: “Thank you for your interest in the role of (insert the title of the role they applied to) with (insert name of your company). At this time we have filled the role, but we will keep your resume on file should another role open up that matches your skill set.”

Maybe you are thinking that this is a very cliché, even a canned response to send. Yes that’s true, but the most important thing is the fact you are communicating to these candidates to tell them the role is filled so they put their focus onto other roles they applied to. With all of the technology we have today, especially in recruitment, candidates are stating how they apply to job after job and they feel as though their resume goes into a black hole and they never hear anything.

Once we have gotten to the face to face interview stage, we send out that exact email. And guess what? The email gets a response, and yes sometimes they are not nice ones, but more times than not, they are people thanking us for letting them know where their application stands. Again think of candidate experience that we talked about in our January blog.

So now we to get to the candidates who’ve you have had a personal touch with-so you have either spoke to them over the phone or met with them in person. They deserve a phone call from you because after all they have taken the time out of their day (maybe even taken time off work) to speak with you in person or over the phone.

So at what point do you get back to these particular candidates? For the phone screens those are the easiest, but the face to face interviews are more complex because of a client story we will share in a moment.  First let’s talk about the candidates you had a phone screen with. Once you have completed all your phone screens, and decided who you want to have a face to face interview with, call those candidates that aren’t being moved forward anymore. So what we do at MKS HR is that at the end of every phone screen we tell the candidate we will get back to them regardless of whether they will be moved forward or not.

We do this because we feel it’s our professional duty to do that so the candidate isn’t left hanging. At one time you were that candidate having that first interview for that job you wanted so much. And I know there were times when you did not hear anything afterward-you were left in the dark wondering, “will they will or won’t they?” At MKS HR this is part of our core values as an organization in that we make this commitment to the candidates we take through our client’s hiring process.

Next are your candidates that you have had a face to face interview with. It may seem obvious, maybe even common sense that once you’ve chosen the one you want to hire, their references are clear, you’ve made a verbal offer, they’ve said yes, that you get back to the remaining candidates.

We agree, however from a few experiences sometimes this is where things can get interesting to say the least-one in particular that we want to share. We worked with a regular client of ours and at the end of the process there were 2 candidates to choose from. One of the candidates was offered the role and given the standard 48 hour window to review and decide to accept it or not.

Before making the offer to this particular candidate, the negotiation between my client and the candidate was long, but finally the two parties agreed on everything. So then the offer was made, however, the candidate went past the deadline date to accept the offer, and there were many attempts to contact this candidate but the candidate wasn’t returning our calls.

While this was happening we were still in contact with the 2nd candidate from the face to face interviews. We weren’t letting them know the role was filled by another candidate; we were letting the candidate know that a decision hadn’t been made yet. Essentially we were keeping this candidate warm while waiting to see what was going to happen with the first one. We decided to keep this second one warm because the type of behaviour the first candidate was displaying indicated that it was possible things wouldn’t turn out as originally planned.

This is exactly what happened as we rescinded the offer from the first candidate and made it to the second one. This person gladly accepted the offer so it all worked out for all involved. So if you experience a similar situation, always let the candidates know from the face to face stage once you are quite certain the candidate you made the offer to, will be the one to be your new hire.

Do you need some help in figuring out what to say when you decline these candidates? Lucky you! MKS HR has created a Declining Candidates Guide that can help you have those conversations with the candidates who were not successful in being hired. This guide will help you every step of the way.

Click here to download your free guide!

Still have questions or would like MKS HR to help you in putting this together?  Click here to book a free 60 minute consultation call with MKS HR.