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Why is it Vital to give Feedback to Rejected Candidates?

December 2, 2022

Recruiters have skipped giving feedback or even informing rejected candidates for a long time now. Not hearing back from recruiters after applying to positions has almost become a norm now. 

While this might often be a result of jam-packed schedules and overbooked workloads for recruiting teams, it harms the organization’s employer brand and reputation in the long run. It’s a talent-driven market that we are dealing with right now, and feedback emails ensure a positive candidate experience.

Gone are the days when sourcing and hiring candidates were as simple and easy as posting classified job ads and then just focusing on interviews. Things have changed entirely in the past few years. Especially with the soaring competition and the post-pandemic transformation of the global talent market. Recruiters are now required to reach out to qualified candidates who have numerous choices when it comes to employment.

As per a 2021 report on candidate experience by Talent Board, candidate resentment toward recruitment has grown by a staggering 25%. And it won’t be right to say this was unexpected. Around half of the job seekers surveyed for the same report – waited to hear back from employers for over two months.

This might not feel like a huge issue to you but can certainly make or break your employer brand in the long run. 84% of job seekers consider the reputation of a company before applying.

So it’s absolutely important that all candidates – regardless of their recruitment results, are provided with appropriate interview feedback. In this blog, we will dive deep into the numerous reasons why candidate interview feedback is important, how to give feedback to rejected candidates the right way, and the best practices to follow all along. Stick around for an insightful discussion.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Provide Candidates with Feedback 

  1. It is a Professional Courtesy

The first and most important reason for us is that – providing genuine feedback to candidates who invested their time, efforts, and energy into the interview, is a professional courtesy. You never know how significantly feedback can impact their career and more importantly, life. When you think from a candidate’s perspective, knowing what interviewers and experts think about the candidate’s skills and experiences can certainly help them improve with each interview. 

Additionally, your efforts in providing specific inputs as feedback to candidates would also help cure the stigma attached to hiring. A majority of candidates in the workforce accept being rejected even before they actually are. It becomes even more crucial when candidates ask for feedback, you should then make sure to serve them with constructive advice.

  1. Enhances the Candidate Experience

An interview feedback, regardless of recruitment outcomes, helps you avoid leaving candidates wondering or ‘ghosting’ them. Unfortunately, even informing the candidates about their rejection is a standing-out move for organizations today. As a recruiter, you ideally want to maintain a good relationship with all candidates due to multiple reasons. 

So if a candidate experiences a positive and engaging experience while applying for a position at your organization, they would most probably keep your company in mind while looking for employment in the future.

  1. Affects Your Employer Brand

We are emphasizing it a number of times - you might almost find it to be cliche by now. But here’s what happens at the ground level. We are living in the age of technology and social media, and the word spreads faster than ever. Over 72% of candidates share their recruitment experiences online. 

Suppose you don’t inform your candidates about their rejection and leave them wondering without any feedback, they might share their recruitment experience on online reviewing sites like Glassdoor. 

It should be noted that candidates are more likely to spread the word about bad experiences. As people in the workforce naturally trust candidates more than they trust brands, these reviews will directly affect your company’s recruiting ability.

  1. You want Job Seekers to Apply Again in the Future

A ‘no’ is not for a candidate but for their current skills and experience. Once they upskill enough and develop their abilities – they can be a great fit for your organization in the future. That will happen only if you provide them with clear and constructive feedback on their performance in the interview.

Keeping up a good relationship with candidates through transparent and timely feedback is immensely beneficial for companies in the long run. As you keep the channel of communication open with your courtesy – it also reflects your organization’s work culture and shows that you care for your biggest resource – people.

  1. Provides Candidates with a Starting Point to Build 

We discussed how huge the impact of feedback can be for the workforce. When you along with the recruitment team serve constructive interview feedback and clearly highlight the areas with the scope for improvement – it becomes a starting point for candidates to build their skills on top of it. 

With growing competition and diminishing barriers to entry in almost every professional field – polishing their skills regularly has become a necessity. Rejections often leave individuals with lifelong learning. You can help them go only upwards from here. They might or might not come back to you applying again for the role, but if they work on the feedback initiated by you – growth will be visible in their career and life.

Best Practices while giving Feedback to Unsuccessful Candidates

Giving feedback to the candidates who got rejected is not easy – no matter which stage of recruitment they ultimately make it to. We talked to a number of internal and external hiring managers to come up with the best practices while giving feedback. 

Here are the top 6 tips that will significantly improve the quality of your feedback to unsuccessful candidates. 

#1 Ensure Timely and Personalized Feedback

As soon as you get to know about a candidate’s rejection, the first thing you should do is inform them about the same. Candidates usually end up waiting for weeks and even months sometimes, you don’t want that to happen. It’s really an anxious feeling – waiting for career updates, and a lot of candidates actually reject certain offers in the hope of better ones.

This should be followed for the entire recruitment funnel – whether a candidate was rejected in the screening round or interview stages. An ideal approach is to ensure a candidate is informed within 3 working days after the interview or assessment. 

Additionally, you should also personalize your interview feedback emails, here’s how you can do that:

  • Include their first name in the email
  • Pick up a few elements from their resume like skills, experiences and mention them
  • Be clear with your interview feedback – ensure adding specific pointers for their performance

#2 Be Sincere with Your Messaging

One thing you must always be careful with while drafting interview rejection responses is genuine and practical messaging. What do we mean by that?

  • Give them practical and actionable advice on how to improve their skills 
  • Your messaging should clearly reflect that you’re willing to help them grow in their career
  • Don’t forget to mention a specific reason why you decided to move with another candidate

In most of the cases if you genuinely share your feedback – candidates will appreciate that and consider your advice.

#3 Show Gratitude for Their Interest and Efforts 

A majority of recruiters miss out on this step. They do not express gratitude to the candidates and this certainly harms the candidate experience. 

As candidates put a lot of time, effort, and energy into your recruitment – as a hiring manager or recruiter, you should always show gratitude. Practicing gratitude and thanking your candidates for applying to your organization would build a positive relationship between them and your organization. 

Especially when providing feedback to rejected candidates, it’s a mark of respect to thank them for their interest in joining your company.    

#4 Offer Specific and Constructive Inputs

Giving feedback doesn’t just mean sharing the same generic inputs with each candidate. Your feedback is only valuable when it is in the form of recommendations. Ensure to cover the following 3 factors in each of your interview feedback emails:

  • Why was the candidate not selected?
  • What were the traits of the other candidate(s) being chosen?
  • A brief about what the candidate can do to improve in the same direction.

You can also include examples while giving feedback to back up your suggestions. It will significantly help the candidates identify and analyze the gaps in their skills, and improve their strategy in the future. 

#5 Praise them for their Strengths

Positive and comprehensive feedback is not just about telling candidates to improve. It also covers recognizing the candidates’ strengths and mentioning them in the interactions. Even if a candidate gets rejected, your feedback interview must highlight their strengths and the areas where they are doing pretty well, and should continue doing the same in the future.

Remember that they were totally interested and excited about the opportunity – that was the primary reason they applied for your job. Being enthusiastic while communicating with them and praising them for their achievements, skills, and relevant experiences can boost the candidate's experience. 

#6 Use Interview Feedback Email Templates 

You need to personalize and include certain specific details for each candidate in your interview feedback email. However, you don’t need to begin everything from scratch. We have curated a set of rejection email templates that you can directly use for quickly implementing your feedback flows.

In our previous blog, you will find different templates for candidates rejected in the screening round as well as interview rejection emails. Having ready-to-go templates in hand will help you inform rejected candidates and share interview feedback faster. So stop worrying about creating emails from the ground up and start delivering a prolific candidate experience with our curated templates!

Accelerate Your Candidate Engagement with Nurturebox

What would be your reaction if we told you that you don’t need to take care of candidate outreach, nurturing, feedback sharing, and managing your entire sourcing pipeline manually? 

Here’s the good news – Nurturebox enables recruiting teams to do exactly that. You can now scale up your candidate sourcing and engagement efforts without any hassle. Get started now to provide a superior candidate experience while putting up your talent sourcing on auto-pilot.

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