Rejecting a candidate is something you will inevitably do. It can be helpful because you can point out mistakes they can learn from. For example, if the candidate thinks the interview went well, finding a reason for rejection can provide the person with the right direction and mindset. The candidate may be appreciative you showed them the way and thus refer your recruitment services to others later.

Rejections are also common when a candidate is set on one company. It can be hard, but you must inform them when the company passes on their application. However, you can help by setting up interviews with multiple companies. A viable candidate may find opportunities with a different employer, but once again, you must be the bearer of bad news (but you can provide encouragement as the candidate looks to you as their ray of sunshine). Highlight the fact that there may be awesome opportunities ahead.

How do you go about rejecting a candidate? It’s not something you or the company wants to do, but somebody has to. Since you are the closest to that person, it is something you need to handle. Part of rejection is learning. There have been many times I haven’t placed a candidate but because I was so attentive and honest with them throughout their search, they went on to refer me to their friends who I did place.

Sometimes a company doesn’t explain why they turned a candidate down. Then a recruiting agency won’t be able to either. But that’s not always the case; some companies are more open than others. You want to relay any feedback you get, so your candidate doesn’t have this rejection hovering over them.

It’s All in the Timing

When you do inform someone they’ve been rejected, you want to consider the timing.

If the person has an interview today, and the one they had yesterday didn’t work out, be careful how you break the news. Telling them right before today’s interview is going to mess with their head. Instead, wish them luck and say you will provide them with feedback on yesterday’s meeting later. Positivity is important.

If the conversation is at the end of the day, express your excitement for the latest interview. But if the previous one didn’t work out, share any feedback you have.

But what if the feedback can help with today’s interview? If so, you must divulge the information. Just be positive. Tell them why the company didn’t accept their application, but say the next company is excited to meet them. If, for example, the hiring staff at Company A disliked the candidate’s negativity, provide your candidate with some direction as to how they can do better with Company B.

Not telling a candidate is unfair for a number of reasons. Can you imagine going through hours of interviews with a company just to be ghosted by them? It burns a bridge with that company and inevitably you as the recruiter. Being upfront with candidates when a company passes will set you apart from other recruiters. When a person knows what not to do, the results can end up being more positive. It can help you go from a mediocre recruiter to a great one.

Learn More from “The Millionaire Recruiter”

The important thing is you tell people why they didn’t land the job, because it can teach them how to succeed for the next one. This is one of the many things you will need to know to have a successful recruiting career. In my Recruiter Bootcamp e-Course, I will show you all the perks of being a recruiter, the tools you can use, and provide recruiting tips that can help you take your career to the next level.