Breaking is so hard to do, isn’t it? It requires incredibly uncomfortable conversations that usually entail the presence of sobbing and tears. The ends of relationships are generally considered to be tough times. It’s probably why recruiters often have such difficulties telling their unsuccessful candidates they didn’t receive the positions they applied for.

Of course, communicating a rejection after a job interview isn’t quite the same thing as breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. However, it can certainly be awkward nonetheless. That is, of course, unless you use some professionalism, courteousness and tact in the way you go about informing your unsuccessful candidates they won’t be hired. It’s all about a proper handling of the HOW, the WHEN and the WHY.

HOW: Highlight the candidate’s positives over his/her negatives.

Phrasing is everything. We all know the saying “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”. Well, that certainly applies here. In all likelihood, your final decision wasn’t easy to come by. Let your unsuccessful candidates know that. Inform them you were pleased to have met them and that they were highly considered for the position. Encourage them by letting them know they are bound to find future success even if it isn’t with your company.

“The first consideration when you reject a job candidate is that you are not rejecting the candidate as an individual human,” insists Susan M. Heathfield on TheBalanceCareers.com, “So, you want to term the rejection in a more positive light. Don’t use the word rejected. Say instead, ‘The selection team has decided that they will not pursue your candidacy further’.”

WHEN: Don’t delay, do it right away.

Have respect for the time and energy your candidates put into applying for the job. They very likely applied to many other job positions and are weighing their options themselves. By informing your unsuccessful candidates of your decision as early as you can, you free them up to put greater efforts into pursuing other opportunities. Don’t waste anyone’s time. You’ll be doing them great favours.

“Many employers disagree, but it is recommended that you call each applicant as soon as you determine that he or she is not the right person for the job,” says Heathfield, “Many employers wait until the end, even as long as it takes for a new employee to start the job before they notify unsuccessful candidates. This is disrespectful of the candidates and not congruent with the actions of an employer of choice. Let candidates know as soon as you know.”

WHY: Be honest and provide helpful feedback.

Most job applicants are left in the proverbial dust when they’re denied entry into companies they wished to work for. “Why didn’t they like me?” is usually an often-asked, but often-unanswered question. It will place your company in high regard if you offer some friendly and helpful feedback to the candidates who didn’t quite make your cut.

“Offer specific, personalized feedback to help candidates understand why you turned them down,” advises Christina Pavlou on Workable.com, “If applicable, recommend skills they could develop to become more competitive candidates or ways to improve their job search. As long as your advice is genuine, candidates will appreciate your help and remember the effort you made to help them improve their applications to other jobs.”

For more expert advice on how to “break up” with your unsuccessful candidates, please don’t hesitate to give Hire Value Inc. a call at 403-978-3827 today!