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Professional Ghosting

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017
Professional Ghosting

If you’ve experienced dating in the 21st Century, chances are you’ve been “ghosted”…I mean, you’ve had a friend who’s been ghosted… YOU are super cool and haven’t ever experienced heartbreak…duh.

Ghosting cuts out the classic, “It’s not you, it’s me…” convo; instead opting for complete radio silence. Leaving the other party wondering why things didn’t work out, and how to improve in the future.

Not ideal, right?

Yet, the practice seems to be crossing over into the business world.

Post-interview, we are seeing more and more candidates left in the dark. And, we’re here to say, “Not cool!” If the candidate is cut in the early rounds of the hiring process, then this may not be an issue. But when the candidate has successfully jumped through the rings and made it to the final rounds of the process, giving them an explanation for their downfall can be the considerate (adult) thing to do. Not only does it provide important information to the candidate, but it can “save face” for your company down the line.

Reaching out to interviewees after an unsuccessful interview, not only helps the candidate understand how to improve, but helps your company maintain positive relationships in the long-run. Although the candidate you interviewed may not have been the best fit for any current open positions, they may be an excellent choice for a position which opens up down the road. Leaving relations with candidates on good terms,  helps your company’s reputation remain intact.

Oftentimes companies withhold information from candidates after unsuccessful interviews in fear of opening themselves up to legal allegations or HR problems. Hiring managers resist handing out criticism post-interview due to legal policies set in place to protect the company. And of course, it’s important to acknowledge that not all candidates want to receive feedback. Candidates who are let go early in the early stages of the interviewing process may not require as much explanation ,as most interviewees understand that they are up against stiff competition.

The candidates that make it into the final rounds, however, may be owed a bit more of an explanation. Sure, you probably shouldn’t tell them they arrived looking like a Britney Spears’ backup dancer or that you would’ve rather interviewed a brick wall, but there are tactful ways of delivering feedback that even HR can get behind.

So, how do you deliver feedback in a digestible format? Here’s a quick breakdown:
    1. Thank your job candidate for their interest in your company. Let them know that you appreciate the time they took to apply and go to the interview.
    2. State that the candidate does have strong skills, experience or qualifications, and maybe explain why they would be a good fit in your company.
    3. Then get to the point, explaining why you’re not able to make a job offer. Use phrases such as, “We’re seeking a candidate who has more experience in {insert specific skill or trade here}”. Try not to be too negative; it’s hard enough for the candidate to hear the news about the job offer without feeling you are picking them apart. And most importantly, don’t be discriminatory, when it comes to interviewing or hiring candidates.
    4. If the candidate has questions or inquiries, make sure you respond to them promptly and on a professional level. Be sure you follow company policies on communicating with applicants. They’ll be likely to reapply with your company if they receive all the necessary information, so never burn your bridges.
    5. Wish the candidate well with their future endeavors as it shows that you have respect for them.
    6. If you have to turn down many candidates, it’s best to use the same rejection letter for each one.
Now, take a deep breath. Remember, karma is real–especially in the age of Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Yelp.

Just as you might have let down George the “not-so-tall drink of water” you once dated, it’s time to own up to communicating with candidates.

At the end of the day, if you have enough time to interview, you should also be carving out enough time to adequately communicate with all candidates. And, if you’re really struggling with candidate communication, then give RNG a call. We’ll handle it all for you and help you #findyourRoute to successful career placements within your organizations.

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