Candidates: What to Do When you Don’t Get the Job


Over the past few days, we’ve gone over what employers should do when a candidate doesn’t get the job, from why it is important, to how employers can put forth the effort efficiently and authentically.

As we mentioned, taking care of candidates is an extremely important part of employer branding, even for those candidates who didn’t quite make the cut in the hiring process.

Doing all of this, though, isn’t just reserved for the employers. In fact, there is a lot that candidates can benefit from properly ending the hiring process when they haven’t been accepted.

Candidates, here are just a few ways to get the most out of your experience, even if you weren’t hired. Take a look below:

  • Thank the employer. You are most likely upset that you didn’t get the position, but the last thing you want to do is to let on that you are bitter towards the employer. Stay positive and approach the matter as professionally as possible. Whether it is a friendly phone call or a nice formal letter, thanking whoever helped you through the hiring process is a great gesture of professionalism.
  • Maintain contact and keep your options open. There is always a chance that a position may open up in the future, and just because you have to move on and find another company, doesn’t mean you should keep your options limited. Though it sounds strange, take the opportunity to do some networking and maintain contact with the hiring manger or recruiter. That way, you’ll have a better idea of when a position opens up, especially if it is for a company you really want to work for.
  • Ask them why. You can also take this as a learning experience by asking the employer why you weren’t qualified for the job. Not only will this help you in your future job searches, but it also shows the employer that you are a driven individual, which can make a great impression on them and possibly give you an advantage the next time you go out for a position in the company.

Candidates, don’t snub these employers! While it can certainly be hard to care–especially after being turned down for the position–you need to make the most out of it.

Consider these situations as another aspect of your professional career. They can be important stepping stones in your career and great learning experiences, so don’t take them for granted.

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What to Do When a Candidate Doesn’t Get the Job (Part II)

calling in the office

Yesterday, we started off our series with why it is important to make sure you adequately take care of those candidates who didn’t get the job. As we mentioned, taking care of candidates is an important part of your employer brand, and that even includes those who didn’t make the cut.

To help point you in the right direction, here are some tips on what to do when a candidate doesn’t get the job. Take a look below: 

  • Call them. Though it may seem like a daunting task, we really do think you should take the time to give your candidates a call. Nothing is worse than getting a generic letter or email that says you weren’t accepted for the position–especially after going through the whole hiring process.

    That being said, you should make your calls within reason. Leave the phone calls for those who were high up in the hiring process, like those who did multiple interviews and obviously spent a lot of time vying for the position. To lessen the load, you may want to consider splitting up the phone calls (but make sure they’re done by someone whom the candidate actually met).

  • Let them know as soon as possible. Don’t wait forever to let a candidate know that they didn’t get the job. Since they’ve already waited long enough, it wouldn’t be fair to make them wait any longer just to let them know that they weren’t accepted. Make it a point to get back to candidates quickly. If it’s been over a week since you hired a candidate and the others have to call you back to find out, then it’s fair to say that you missed your chance.
  • Be honest. If a candidate asks why they didn’t get accepted, don’t be afraid to tell them the truth. You don’t need to be brutally honest, but giving them a little constructive criticism is a great way to ease the tension and possibly keep in your talent pool, which could come in handy down the road.

Just because a candidate wasn’t up to snuff doesn’t mean they didn’t put in the hard work and effort like the others, so don’t take them for granted. In today’s job market, employers often forget to take candidates who didn’t get the position into consideration—don’t be one of those employers.

Do you have any tips you’d like to add to our list? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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What to Do When a Candidate Doesn’t Get the Job (Part I)

two people interviewing

Hiring can be tough. We have to sift through hundreds of applications, screen multiple candidates, conduct multiple interviews for each one, and it usually all ends up boiling down to one candidate to fill one position.

Once that’s all squared away, many would think the hiring manager’s duties are done.

But there’s a lot more to the hiring process than filling the position. The truth of the matter is that the countless number of candidates you had to go through to find that right one don’t just up and disappear into thin air.

That means you need to do something about them, and it requires more than just telling them to “go away.” Over the next few days, we are going to talk about what you as an employer need to do when a candidate doesn’t get the job.

For today, we’ll concentrate on why it is important to make sure you adequately take care of those candidates who didn’t get the job. Take a look below:

  • It’s rude not to care. Plain and simple, not letting the candidate know that they didn’t get the position is just plain rude. Even though they didn’t make the cut, these candidates probably spent a good amount of time preparing themselves. From customizing their resume for the position, prepping for the multiple interviews, taking days off, and travelling to the interview site, to potentially putting their current careers on the line in hopes of getting the job with your company, the hiring process takes a lot. Suffice to say, they at least deserve to know they didn’t get it.
  • It impacts your employer brand. Secondly, showing those candidates who didn’t get the job that you care says a lot about your employer brand. When you make the effort to let them know they didn’t get the job, you’ll possibly soften the blow that they didn’t get the job, preventing any unwanted animosity between you and them.
  • It impacts your talent pool. That brings us to our third point: ending the hiring process on good terms will hopefully keep those candidates in the talent pool. Just because they didn’t make it this time, doesn’t mean they won’t have the opportunity to do so in the future. If you treat them poorly, you may have just thrown a perfectly viable candidate out of your talent pool–a bad move on your part.

Check back tomorrow when we give you a few tips on how to successfully take care of a candidate who didn’t get the job. In the meantime, what do you think about caring for candidates who didn’t make the cut? Is it important to you? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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