#HRFail - Not Telling Candidates the Position has been Filled

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By: Melissa M., WorkBright

Investigating this #HRfail

It’s never fun to tell a job applicant they aren’t getting the job, so it’s been the norm in a lot of HR departments to leave the “not-hired” candidates hanging. When they call to follow up, potential hires have even been told “We’re still looking,” or “We’ll let you know…” to avoid being the one to hurt someone’s feelings. But either way, we agree with @agm4131 - it’s really pretty rude.

Maybe HR staff thought that they were protecting the company or more likely they just didn’t have the time to let all the candidates know when the position has been filled. But dishonesty is not in the company’s best interest and there are simple ways we can automate the rejection process, so let’s figure out how to turn this #HRfail into a #HRwin!

Tips for avoiding this HR fail

Attempting to be gentle by being vague only makes the matter worse. Telling a candidate they didn’t get the job because you “decided to go with someone else” isn’t helpful, but “We selected a candidate who had several more years of experience” is an easy to understand reason and lets the candidate know what you’re looking for. The same would be true if you let them know that the job went to someone with a higher degree, an established client base, professional licensing, or any other qualification that is specific.

As the bearer of bad news, it’s tempting to get off the phone ASAP, but allowing the candidate to ask questions helps them understand your needs better, and avoids the bad feelings that can prevent them from applying with you for other positions in the future.

Of course, we’re not talking about EVERY person that applied to the position. But if someone took time out of their day to come in for a formal interview, then we certainly recommend you provide constructive feedback to that candidate.

For the rest of the applicants, employing an ATS system that automatically shoots an email when someone has not moved to the next stage is simple to set up and can save loads of headache on your HR team.

To summarize - These are our best practices for informing candidates who did not get the job - Call or email each applicant who came in for an interview and did not get the job. (Using an applicant tracking system that triggers a prewritten message saying, “If you’d like to discuss more, please call me at XXX” can save a lot of time!) - Include a brief explanation of why they were not selected. One sentence will do. Be open to discussion and ask if they have any questions. - Be honest in your responses. - You’re busy, and may have a lot of these to do, so it’s totally fine to keep the conversation brief. Answer questions and wish them well in their search, but don’t feel like it’s your job to chat until they feel better about it. Friends and family can take care of that! Considering that some of your candidates may have heard about your position though a current employee, your communication with all candidates could have positive (or negative) impact on your company culture as well! It’s more challenging, but making a more transparent and open approach to hiring—and not hiring—results in better relationships with candidates, and may attract them back in the future.

For WorkBright Users

Did you know we can import a flat excel file from your ATS system directly in to your WorkBright database? If you’re interested in speeding up your onboarding process even more with this easy export/import functionality, contact [email protected].

If you’re not a current WorkBright user and are interested in learning more about getting rid of new hire paperwork in your office, request a free trial here.

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