Whether you’re the one hiring or the one seeking a job, there can be an up side to rejection. Following job interviews, many companies don’t bother to communicate with the candidates who won’t be moving forward in the process. Often, this same lack of courtesy is seen in the behavior of job candidates.
Treat job candidates poorly and you risk damaging the company’s reputation. In Tribe’s national research on hiring practices, 78 percent of respondents said they would discourage others from applying to a company that had treated them with a lack of courtesy during the hiring process.
But exercise a little common courtesy, and the company will enjoy powerful positive word of mouth. In the same study, an even larger number — 87 percent — said that if they were rejected for a job, yet had been treated with courtesy during the process, they would be likely to encourage others to apply to that company in the future.
Candidates want to know the outcome of an interview, even if it’s bad news. It’s interesting – and disheartening – to see how often companies fail to send any further communication to those interviewees they reject. In the Tribe study, respondents said things like:
“I realize companies get many applicants to positions, but it would be appreciated if they let those not selected for a position after an interview know, rather than leaving them hanging.”
“Contact people one way or the other, instead of just ignoring them.”
“Nothing’s worse than not hearing anything at all.”
Now some free advice for job candidates: Even if you’re rejected for this job, there may be another job down the road, so keep in touch. Every person who interviews you is a new business contact you’ve made, with the potential to connect you with another opportunity in the future. Maybe another job will come up that’s a better fit for you. Possibly that contact will move to another company that needs someone just like you. Or they might hear about a job from a friend and pass your name along.
When a company actually lets you know you’ve been rejected for a job, respond with an email or even a handwritten note. Thank them for the opportunity to interview, tell them you enjoyed meeting them and express an interest in keeping in touch. That sort of courtesy is also too rare in the hiring process.
Interested in improving your recruiting efforts or hiring communications? Tribe can help.