You Did Not Get the Job

Some folks talk about letting applicants know they didn’t get the job, and even letting them know why they didn’t get the job.

But is that communication actually happening? Often it’s not, despite the fact that job applicants are a source of employee referrals, and despite the fact that job candidates don’t forget their bad experiences when they look to buy consumer products.

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I talk about this topic for about 11 minutes with Lisa Chartier of Alexander Mann Solutions, below.

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12 Comments on “You Did Not Get the Job

  1. Some of my best referrals and relationships have evolved from having a conversation with a candidate about why they didn’t get the job. Unfortunately too many corporations and large recruiting firms still view the candidate as their product or a commodity. Once you realize that candidates are not commodities, but your businesses lifeblood and the impact this has on them and their families, the excuses for not giving feedback disappear.

  2. I personally know executive level candidates who have been told that an offer was forthcoming then they never heard from the company again, including no response to follow-up calls and emails. There is no excuse for this type of behavior, none. To the point of this interview it clearly reflects on the culture of the company and can and shouldbe damaging to their reputation.

  3. My own best practice is to give the candidates not selected a call and let them know. These include candidates who came in for an interview. It’s always appreciated, although I/we don’t give feedback. The calls tend to be very brief. If they were a decent candidate, I send them a LinkedIn invite.

  4. Great conversation! Our users indicate lack of communication from recruiters as one of their biggest pain points in the job search process. Although we explain to them that most recruiters just simply can not call/email every single candidate, it’s great to know that a lot of recruiters do it as a best practice!

  5. Last year I made it my resolution to let every single candidate know why they did not get the job, why they did not make it to the next round of screening, and at the end of conversations, if I knew I wouldn’t be referring them to the hiring manager, the reasons why. I’m pretty well networked, so if I like them and think a different company or industry or culture might be a fit, I’ll give them recommendations there as well. I’d say about 80% of candidates are very gracious about it, and many even thank me for my honesty and ask for suggestions for what might work in the future (sometimes it’s as easy as “hey, you didn’t do any research on our company before your phone interview, you gotta do that” or “hey, the competition out there is really stiff, we have folks with more experience doing XYZ”). And the ones who are not gracious? Well, you learn something about their professional maturity right then and there. Yes it’s hard sometimes to decline a candidate gracefully but it’s worth it, and it’s the right thing to do. Like Ellen said, if they’re good I’ll LinkIn with them as well. My problem I’ve seen as a recruiter is in the final interviews when hiring managers should be doing that non-select call (I firmly believe they should be doing that last call rather than the recruiter whenever possible – by that point it’s more personal), and tell me they’ll call the candidate and I find out they never did. Total bummer. Recruiter & hiring manager are business partners and both represent the company. I’ve been through it as a candidate and usually am ignored when I ask for feedback or if I’ve gotten the position by most companies – so I don’t want anyone to feel that way!

  6. I always provide my candidates with feedback. Sometimes it is to tell them we received no feedback from the client – at all. Unfortunately many companies consider silence their feedback. Very unprofessional.

  7. Nobody likes to deliver bad news, but it is astonishing that a company that asks a person to take their time and money to interview will not give them the basic human respect to let them know the result of the interview. These are people and they deserve a timely answer.

    This is a complete no-brainer.

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