There is always a part of your job that is less pleasant than the rest of it, and unfortunately with what we do, on occasion we do have to decline someone for a role. There is really no perfect way to do this but there are definitely some tips to ensure it is less horrendous. So if you are a Candidate being ‘regretted’ then your recruiter, if they are worth their salt, should know these and if you are a Client, please understand why we are asking for updates all the time!
1. Leaving it too long
If the Candidate is actively searching for a new role, it is likely that the role we have with them is not the only one they are interviewing with. If they are waiting on a response and it is taking too long, they are likely to get fed up, assume it is a ‘no’ and accept another role. Time kills all deals so if you have made a decision on a Candidate, either way, please inform us asap so we can act accordingly. Especially at a more junior level, Candidates go very quickly and it is not a nice feeling missing out on someone you had pinned your hopes on.
2. Ignoring them
Even worse than delaying the response is just not hearing back at all. Firstly, it does come across as rude and lazy (even if you didn’t mean it), not an ideal representation of the company. Secondly, if a Candidate is still waiting, they might be still thinking there is a chance and have false hopes and be declining other roles.
3. Not giving a reason
We are lucky enough to work with Clients that 99% of the time give us reasonable and clear feedback as to why a Candidate didn’t get the role, particularly after second interview stage.
But if you are the person giving the feedback, please ensure it is as comprehensive as possible as it is extremely disheartening and frustrating to hear, ‘it’s a no’ without saying why. As recruiters it doesn’t help the refinement of our search and as the Candidate it doesn’t help their development and interview technique.
4. Outright lying
There are always slightly more diplomatic ways of phrasing everything, but completely lying is never the best policy! If the Candidate interviewed very poorly and really said nothing right at all, then it is clear it is not the right role for them and the recruiter would be partly to blame for this! If the truth is not told then there is no way they are going to learn and improve. We won’t lie, but we will use the diplomacy and tactfulness skills we have spent years crafting!
5. It could be you in the future
If all else fails, remember: you were once in the Candidate’s position yourself.
And whilst it can be all too easy to get bogged down with your massive to do list, taking a little extra time with that feedback is worth it – you never know, it could come full circle and your paths may cross again in the future.
So as a Client, please let your recruiter know your decision on a Candidate the second you can, give honest but constructive feedback and if you are working with the right recruiters (!!) they will extend this correctly to the Candidate and the company’s reputation will remain intact.