Treat your candidates like your friends: with respect.

Have you ever been a job seeker that has searched endlessly for a job, gone on a promising job interview, and walked out of the interview thinking…”I nailed it!” But then…crickets. Not a peep back. Not a “Sorry, but thanks for coming to talk to us”, or “We’ll keep your resume on file.” Nothing.

This, from the very same company that told you that they would be making a decision in the next week. So, you have no doubt you’ll at least hear whether you got the job or not, right? Wrong! You think to yourself: they took the time to interview me, why they can’t take the time to let me know I didn’t get the job?

Now–let’s pretend–a friend invites you out to dinner, and you make substantial effort to make time for your friend. You arrange your schedule, you get a sitter, and you buy a new outfit. You pay for dinner, you both have a great time, and then it’s over. Your friend walks away from the table…no thank you, no see you next month. Nothing. Not a great way to foster relationships, right?

You wouldn’t treat a friend that way, so why do you treat candidates that way? Does this behavior represent your brand well? Does it make that jobseeker (or their network of friends or colleagues) ever want to consider working for you in the future? I think not.

This phenomenon happens all too often, and it leaves job seekers second-guessing themselves and their abilities. It is extremely important to let candidates know if they didn’t get the job. Here are some reasons why:

Let’s stop and think for a moment about how this affects the candidate (and you) emotionally.

Emotional Roller Coaster

If a candidate is expecting to hear from you, and you never reach out to them with a decision, it will leave them questioning what they did wrong or what they lacked. This causes the candidate to become anxious and have self-doubt. Sometimes, a simple explanation, stating that they were a leading candidate but not the person for this particular job, lends a sense of closure and direction to the candidate for future interviews. It’s the right thing to do.

False Sense of Hope

When a candidate is waiting to hear back from a company they interviewed with they may slow or stop their job search process in the meantime, especially if they feel they really “nailed it”. This could cause them to miss out on opportunities they could have interviewed for, and sometimes even extend gaps in their employment.

Hurts your Brand 

A recent article I read stated it best: if a jobseeker isn’t given closure, it could “open the door to these individuals complaining about your company and not doing business with you down the road”. Letting a candidate know the verdict is just the right thing to do, and this sort of goodwill can actually affect your company’s success. People that aren’t treated with respect can cause real problems with your existing staff and with your customers. They can dramatically affect your bottom line.

I know, I know, you’re busy. You’re interviewing hundreds of candidates. You can’t worry about the feelings of every single jobseeker that walks through your door. You’re overworked and underpaid. Well, guess what? So am I.

Let’s all just try and be a little more thoughtful. If you’ve made a choice, then at least show the candidates that you still respect them as humans. If you did really like the candidate, but they were not the right fit, you could have a conversation with them to offer feedback to them as to why they didn’t get the job. You might give them a tidbit that will help them find the next job. And, you’ll make a huge impression.

Life is a funny thing. Some day, that candidate that you blew off could be the person who’s interviewing you!

Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses today’s most effective marketing tactics to reach the full spectrum of talent – from active to passive, and everything in between. Learn more about hiring with Nexxt.

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