All too often, candidates never hear back from companies when unsuccessful at their job applications. Much less is needed to be said for receiving constructive feedback. Even if companies do get in touch with the unsuccessful candidates, rejection letters are often impersonal and non-specific. This might be due to the lack of time or for the fear of causing offense.

According to the 2016 North America Candidate Experience Awards research report, almost half of job seekers surveyed waited to hear back from employers more than two months after initially applying for a position.  Only 20% of all candidates received an email from an actual person, while only 8% received a phone call.  Alarmingly, only 51% of recruiters are required to communicate with every applicant at the time of disposition or when the position is filled or closed.

This might not seem like a big issue, but in the long run, it might cause a great negative impact on your company. Why should you give feedback to your candidates, you might wonder? It is simply to build good relationships with the candidates and help to promote your employer brand. Make the rejected candidates advocates for your company. Keep in contact with them as they are still potential employees for future job vacancies. Finally, candidates have spent time and effort through the recruitment process; it is only polite to keep them updated.

Even though you might be afraid to give feedback to rejected candidates, don’t be. Here are some tips for giving feedback to candidates that you can follow.

1) Be specific

Since you are providing personal feedback to candidates anyway, try to be as specific as possible. If you are going to say general comments such as “You have some great skills that we really like”, then the feedback letter might as well be automated. Try to include the good points that you liked about the candidate and some points to improve that would have increased the chance of hiring the candidate.

2) Provide reasonable & practical feedback

You can encourage candidates to work on their skills and experience. However, certain things, such as a candidate’s appearance or voice, is irrelevant in this case. Candidates are not able to change these aspects, and you should steer clear of feedback that is too personal. One thing to focus on can be the candidate’s behavior and body language during the recruitment process.

3) Start with positive points

This is the basis of giving feedback, not just to rejected candidates, but everyone in general. Always start with the positive points as a form of encouragement before commencing the discussion on some points that candidates could have done better in. This buffers the blow when you tell them what they need to improve on, rather than making it seem like a personal attack.

4) Avoid personal feelings

As a recruiter, your first impression or sixth sense about a person might influence your decision. However, you should keep these feelings to yourself and never mention them in your rejection letter. This action could be considered a biased view, which might lead to legal issues.

5) Mean what you say

Always be truthful in your rejection letter. For example, when you say that you believe the candidate would qualify for other roles or that the candidate fits in well with your company culture, make sure you mean it. Candidates will take these as a form of encouragement and continue to apply again in the future. So, do not give them false hope if you have no intention of considering them again.

6) Send your good wishes

Always end your rejection letters on a positive note and wish the person success. Make sure you thank your candidate for the time invested in the application and interview process.

7) Be tactful

Be honest but not blunt when communicating with candidates. Get straight to the point in your rejection letters, but be gracious as well. After all, you are puncturing a person’s hopes and dreams. Do so with respect and consideration.

8) Be personal

It would be ideal to get someone who has been in touch with the candidate to write the rejection letter. This makes it seem more personalized and shows that the company puts in the effort to treat the candidate well. Also, always provide candidates with a way to contact you for further details if needed.

9) Ask for feedback

You can end your rejection letter by asking for feedback from the candidates. This makes candidates feel more valued, and you can also collect data regarding your recruitment process. Put the data you get to good use and constantly try to improve your recruitment process.

Of course, all these take time.

After hearing all of these, you might consider giving feedback to candidates. Then, you remember that you do not have time. Many recruiters have mentioned that they would like to build a good relationship with candidates, as they see the importance of it, but they just do not have the time. Providing feedback to a candidate who was not offered the job is extremely time-consuming. A rejection letter takes time to be written and sent.

This is where TalentAdore’s solution will help companies. Our Virtual Recruitment Assistant allows recruiters to provide 100% personalized feedback and status updates to all candidates. The end to end recruiting system enables recruiters to streamline their hiring process all in one place, creating a job advertisement and managing the company’s talent pipeline. We help you to make your job easier. Let us show you how.