We all have faced rejection at some point in life: In relationships, social engagements, and job promotions. But nothing comes close to the pain of job search rejection especially if you have been facing constant rejection for long. Such is the dilemma of a job seeker…
But what happens if you are the source of this pain and agony?? The recruitment officer who churns through heaps of application letters from potential candidates, interviews them, and eventually rejects their candidature.
Is it possible to turn around and offer a new job opportunity to these past candidates, considering no one takes rejection lightly??? The answer is a big YES!
Stick around as we show you how…
Right off the bat, most recruiters reject candidates basing on different parameters key among them being wrong skill set, lack of experience, sloppy applications, and many others. Even though these are genuine reasons to gracefully reject a candidate with no hard feelings, some candidates take it personally potentially bungling possible future interactions.
Here are 5 tips to use while recruiting previously rejected candidates.
But before we do that, it’s important to mention one thing; although you may have to eventually reject a good number of applicants if there is one position to fill, rejecting them at the application stage is one of the best ways to avoid disappointments.
Right from the onset, set clear expectations in your job description as it helps the candidate filter themselves out saving you the pain of eventually rejecting them.
Set the expectations right away.
You can start by setting the expectations right from the beginning, even before the interview. Invest in crafting perfect job descriptions. Well-written JDs help applicants filter themselves out and save you the pain of having to reject them.
Ensure all the deal breakers for the position are clearly outlined and discernable by using bold letters in the job description.
If the interviews are being conducted in your offices, verbally communicate with the candidates the skills you’re looking for. By doing this, you are giving them an opportunity to weigh their skills against the job requirements.
Off to the big question in the house, how do you source for previously rejected candidates?
Get To Ask Questions
As earlier indicated, the number you are going to hire is limited to the number of available open slots. As such, you need to think beyond the current opening by asking yourself whether there are other job openings that the unsuccessful candidates can fill.
This prevents you from losing out on a great employee especially if the only basis of their unsuccessful candidature was due to lack of necessary experience. If there happens to be an opportunity, you can hire them and nurture them to gain the necessary experience. Who knows, they could be a replacement for the just hired candidate in case the position falls vacant as a result of promotion or abdication.
A few years ago, a study conducted by LinkedIn showed that 94% of interviewees would appreciate feedback from a company after the interview. As a company, the most empathetic thing you can do to a candidate is to inform them whether they were successful or not as soon as possible.
While at it, encourage them to reapply in case they were unsuccessful. By leaving the door open, you give them the morale and courage to keep tabs with the organization through their talent network which could possibly lead to another job they qualify for.
Look Internally And Externally
Job application rejections are both internal and external. So far, we have mostly focused on empathizing with external rejections. However, it’s important to note that internal job rejections are a lot harder because everyone involved knows the applicant. As a result, the candidates may feel vulnerable and exposed trying to sell themselves to colleagues.
As a business, hiring an internal employee is great as you reduce costs associated with hiring new and external employees. But, what happens if they don’t get the job? This can prove to be an ego-hit making them uncomfortable around the recruitment team.
To successfully navigate this potentially murky situation, it’s important to encourage them to reapply as well.
Over the years, the recruitment world and HR, in general, has continued to see improvement all thanks to technology. The impact of technology has been felt in sorting employee payrolls, performance management, and administration. But perhaps the most significantly impacted area is the hiring process.
Companies have deployed applicant tracking systems (ATS) to determine the candidate’s skills and whether they match a specific job position. It is important to keep tabs with your ATS to establish candidates who have unsuccessfully interviewed for a particular job in a particular department but have transferrable skills that may be useful in a different job opening.
As an added bonus, ensure you communicate in your social media messaging campaigns, career portal, and talent network that previous unsuccessful candidates are welcome to reapply.
Inform Your Network
If you struggle with remembering what you had for breakfast, chances of remembering a great candidate you interviewed a few months earlier are very slim. Having in place a collaborative hiring process whereby different recruitment team members can suggest previous candidates is a great recruitment strategy.
Rejecting candidates without burning bridges is hard. Albeit, when done right and gracefully, it can help you create a pragmatic candidate experience and improve your brand as an employer. This is because, candidates who get rejected without feeling disrespected are more likely to consider future job openings in your organizations, at the same time become your ambassadors to the outside world.
And since recruitment is a two-way affair, the key lies in requesting all your candidates—both successful and unsuccessful—for feedback. It shows that their opinion matters and is respected and that they aren’t just another passing storm. It is through their feedback that you are able to improve your hiring process and structure making it easier for them to join you in the future.