5 Considerations when Rejecting Candidates and Saving your Brand

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As CEO of Always Hired I act as a hiring manager for a number of roles we fill. As such, it is inevitable that I am going to reject most of the candidates that come in. It’s not pretty, it’s not fun, but a key to remember is that it is not personal.

And both sides must remember this. Especially as someone who does not want to tarnish my brand by telling someone, “thanks but no thanks.” How you (as a hiring manager) deal with the rejection, will be one of the keys to your long term success.

As I recently filled roles within our organization, it got me thinking about how to handle these situations and wanted to share what I came up with.

  1. Think about WWIFM (what’s in it for me), for your candidate - if we can figure that out from the candidate’s perspective, then we can more effectively come to a mutually agreed upon resolution. You may not have a job for them, but can you still provide them with value?
  2. Understand long term goals - as anyone managing a funnel knows, we can sometimes get blinded by short term results and the need for instant gratification. I’ve burned through candidate leads too quickly in the past, which has hurt me in the long run. The candidate you reject today, could be the candidate you hire next year. It’s important to nurture your candidate leads the same way you nurture your marketing or sales leads. Lever, an applicant tracking system, goes into more detail in their blog.
  3. Always Provide Value - at every step in the funnel you need to provide value. So how do we at Always Hired provide value when we reject candidates? We give them specific feedback (too long winded, not enough knowledge of the role, not strong enough at closing and handling objections, just to share some examples from different roles we have filed). Ask the candidate if they agree with the feedback. If they do, you’re winning. From there, you can direct them to solutions that can get them better qualified to hit their goals. In turn, they will see you as a door opener and not a door closer. And we all know which one is more likely to help us build a sustainable employer brand.

Many of the SDR candidates you reject today, will be AE’s in 1-3 years. Don’t you want to be on good terms with them?

Onwards and upwards!