By Kellie Lail

Rejecting candidates during the hiring process can be tough. Whether they’re just not the right fit for your company or their experience doesn’t fully prepare them for the role, there are a number of reasons that you might choose not to hire a candidate. Sometimes it seems like it might be easier to just not reach out to schedule an interview, or you might feel like you’re too busy to follow up with the candidates you aren’t moving forward with, but sending a rejection letter is actually one of the most important things you can do both for the candidate and for the way people perceive your business.

Creating a positive candidate experience should be at the top of your list during the hiring process. From building a quality job ad to a seamless onboarding process, every step in the hiring process should be easy and enjoyable for both you and the candidate. Even if you choose to reject a candidate for this role, they might be a better fit for another role in your organization down the line. The last thing you want to do is leave candidates with a negative view of your company. Maintaining this positive experience can be helpful in growing your talent pool, and maybe even clients. Keeping open lines of communication is one of the ways to facilitate this positive experience.

Often, people apply to jobs, maybe even take the time to go to an interview, and are then left waiting in radio silence. They are unsure if they’ll ever hear from a company again. This leads to questions like: Are they still interviewing other candidates? Was the position already filled? Did I do something wrong in the interview? Is it just taking a lot of time for them to get back to me? Have they even looked at my resume yet? Or even a question like “Why am I not even good enough to receive a rejection?” According to Websolutions, 52% of candidates say that their biggest frustration in their job search is a lack of response from employers.

Rather than leaving a candidate questioning, it is important to send them a quick and concise rejection letter if you have decided not to move forward with them in your hiring process. Less than 1% of Fortune 500 companies utilize rejection letters, so candidates will be pleasantly surprised that you took the time to let them know you wouldn’t be moving forward with their application. They will appreciate the fact that you were upfront, rather than leaving them guessing. According to LinkedIn, candidates are 4x more likely to consider a company for a future job opportunity when they offer constructive feedback – even if this feedback comes in the form of a rejection letter.

Candidates invest their time and energy into the application process and expect that you do the same. Taking even a few minutes to send a rejection letter demonstrates to the candidate that you appreciate the time they took applying for the position and may even consider them for future opportunities. Doing so in a timely manner is just as important. According to Careerbuilder, 66% of job seekers say they would wait only two weeks for a response to their application before moving on to other opportunities. Quickly responding to candidates lets them know that you value their time and do not want them waiting around for a position that you aren’t looking to offer them.

IdealTraits offers several different rejection letter email templates that you can easily send to candidates through your account in just a few clicks! You can even schedule the rejection letter to send immediately, an hour later, or a day later. Check out this article in our Help Center for more information on how to use our templates.

It can be difficult to reject candidates, but put yourself in their shoes and think about what you would want. It is better to know that you are not right for a role and have the opportunity to search for a better fit than to wait around wondering if and when you’ll hear back from an employer.

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