w and When Do You Tell Candidates the Answer is No

How and When Do You Tell Candidates the Answer is No

Keeping the candidate experience positive when the news is bad

This event is part of the “Let’s Talk Recruiting” series where a panel of recruiting practitioners get together online and have a conversation on a variety of topics related to corporate recruiting.

In today’s conversation…

Only one person is getting the job so the messaging between recruiters and all the other candidates can get tricky when you want the candidates to still have a good experience.

Out panel discuss how they manage the messaging when it’s bad news for the candidates and try to avoid the resume black hole experience that candidates so often complain about.

Listen in to hear if you can apply some of their techniques.

Our Panelists…

Name & LinkedIn Profile Group Title Company
John Kempe Recruiting Denver Technical Recruiting Leader Gusto
Kathlene Whinnery Recruiting Portland Sr. Recruiter Viewpoint
Julie Kemp Recruiting SFBA Talent Acquisition Mercari
Erika Thorson-Garay TA Leaders Head of Global Talent Acquisition LiveRamp

Some of the attendees…

Name & LinkedIn Profile Group Title Company
Pam Rush Recruiting Atlanta Talent Acquisition Consultant Assurant
Taylor Mitchell Recruiting Atlanta Recruiter Amazon
Jessica Marotta Recruiting Boston Principal, Talent Acquisition Forrester
Christine Williams Recruiting Boston Recruiter Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston
Claudia Castaneda Recruiting Chicago Sr Talent Advisor U.S. Cellular
Sarah Schaefer Recruiting Chicago Senior Recruiter Fresenius Kabi USA
Lisa Wrezel Recruiting Chicago Talent Acquisition Lead Centric Consulting
Elizabeth Lollock Recruiting Chicago Regional Vice President, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner Gallagher
Kelly Esquivel Recruiting Chicago Sr. Recruiter Avtex Solutions, LLC
Eli K. Recruiting Chicago Senior Talent Acquisition Partner Unknown
Diane Karija Recruiting Chicago Senior Manager Talent Acquisition | Recruiter Fresenius Kabi USA
Cindy McWilliams Recruiting Chicago Talent Manager American College of Surgeons
Steven Rosenblum Recruiting Chicago Talent Acquisition and HR Operations Leader Level 5 Partners
Tracey Anderson Recruiting Chicago Executive Recruiter Veolia North America
Tricia Jones Recruiting Chicago Director Talent Acquisition Carle Health System
Barbara Fasth Recruiting Chicago Recruiting Manager Menasha Packaging
Shawn Watzka Recruiting Chicago Senior Recruiter Inpatient Psych Solutions
Allison Cooper Recruiting Dallas Global Recruiter YPO
Toni Sherman Recruiting Dallas Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant | Sr. Corporate Recruiter Marsh & McLennan Companies
Antonia Ndi Recruiting Dallas Talent Acquisition Partner Academic Partnerships
Heather Sisson Recruiting Dallas Talent Acquisition Leader Bottle Rocket
Tim Strandberg Recruiting Denver Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist Datavail
William Brown Recruiting Denver Technical Sourcing Recruiter Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Courtney Hanchey Recruiting Denver Recruiter City and County of Denver
Shelbi Davis Recruiting Denver Sr. Talent Advisor - Digital Services & Technology Charles Schwab
Vira Garcia Recruiting Houston Director of Recruiting vcfo
Crystal Crawford Recruiting Houston Talent Acquisition Partner HighRadius
Kerry Clark Recruiting LA Vice-President, Sr. Recruiter Union Bank
Giselle Salazar Recruiting LA TA Specialist Optima Tax Relief
Jeffery Broussard Recruiting LA Senior Technical Recruiter Redhorse Corporation
Mike Crosby Recruiting LA Talent Acquisition Partner Age of Learning / ABCmouse.com
Nicholas Steinberg Recruiting LA Talent Acquisition Specialist Bluebeam
Sylvia Correa Recruiting LA Sr. Talen Capital Group
Yenni Li Recruiting LA Talent Acquisition Manager Cargomatic
Charles Carbajo Recruiting LA Talent Acquisition Looking for Work
Bez Rengifo Recruiting LA Sr. Manager / Director, People Services (HR Business Partner department) Loma Linda University Health Care
Zachary Eggers Recruiting LA Talent Acquisition Partner AEG
Allison Ausmus Recruiting Minneapolis Lead Recruiter Eide Bailly LLP
Laura Hoff Recruiting Minneapolis Regional Recruiter Eide Bailly LLP
Evan Waldera Recruiting Minneapolis Senior Recruiter Sovos
Denise Ward Recruiting Minneapolis Technical Recruiter Wunderlich-Malec Engineering
Deb Smith Recruiting Minneapolis Talent Acquisition Senior Corporate Recruiter Best Buy
Dana Bozich Recruiting Minneapolis Talent Acquisition Specialist Sedgwick
Becky Gramenz Recruiting Minneapolis Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist Looking for Work
Austin Davis Recruiting Nashville Corporate Recruiter Bargain Hunt
Lauren Melton Recruiting Nashville Corporate Recruiter Gresham Smith
Ahna Thorstenson Recruiting NYC Recruiter Uber
Simone Epstein Recruiting NYC HR Manager PX
Brandy Burrows Recruiting Phoenix Recruitment Operations Manager Medix Team
Elaine Dewitt Recruiting Phoenix Contract Recruiter HonorHealth
Melissa Kolbe Recruiting Portland Sr Recruiter Viewpoint
Bridgitte Ngo Recruiting Portland Senior Recruiter CareOregon
Candi Capperauld Recruiting Seattle Senior Recruiter Manpower
Disha Salgia Recruiting Seattle Recruiter - Sales & Marketing ExtraHop
Cindy Huffman Recruiting Seattle Recruiter Oki Golf
Anca Cristea Recruiting Seattle Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist West Monroe Partners
Nicole McDaniel Recruiting.Work Talent Acquisition Partner 2 Huntington Ingalls Industries
JoDee Klinker TA Leaders Director of Talent Acquisition Carson Group
Jean Sheehan TA Leaders Director, Talent Acquisition ConServe
Kara Wilson TA Leaders Recruiting Director MorganFranklin Consulting
Kim Lonas TA Leaders Director, Human Resources Exertis
Mahen Kathirithamby TA Leaders Director Of Recruiting Looking for Work
Malia Jorgensen TA Leaders Director of Talent Acquisition Nortal US
Manisha Bavabhai TA Leaders Head of Recruiting Hudson MX
Nancee Martin TA Leaders Managing Director Corporate Recruiting AvAirPros
Rachel Biggs TA Leaders Director of Talent Acquisition KúCoe Isom, LLP
Julie Kelly TA Leaders Director, Talent Acquisition Forrester
Jeanne Amey TA Leaders Vice President Talent Acquisition PennyMac Loan Services, LLC
Jay Barrow TA Leaders Head of Talent Acquisition Southern States Cooperative
Dave Williams TA Leaders Head of Talent Acquisition Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Denny Voyles TA Leaders Assistant Director of Talent Acquisition & Development the Orlando Magic NBA Team
Diane Mariuzza TA Leaders VP, Senior Recruiter SitusAMC
Destiny Quinn TA Leaders Assistant Vice President, Talent Acquisition Corvee
Debbie Burgess TA Leaders Director Talent Acquisition Chico's FAS
Steven Green TA Leaders Vice President | Global Project Lead – Associate Recruiting |Global Human Resources Looking for Work
Cara Kuhn TA Leaders Director of Talent Acquisition Wesley Enhanced Living
Millie Urrutia-Santiago TA Leaders Head of Talent Acquisition for Mexico Cognizant
Bennett Yang TA Leaders Director Talent Acquisition SoundHound
Andrew Shelton TA Leaders Director, Talent Acquisition Barrett Industries (a Colas USA company)
Dawn Losinger TA Leaders Head of Talent Acquisition Precision BioSciences

We asked our attendees, “Do you have a way that you like to use with candidates when it’s bad news?”

Here are their answers:

  • Always dependent on candidate
  • Appreciate their time
  • Ask if they are open to feedback and provide specific feedback
  • based on the candidate situation and their level, it will be either email or phone
  • Be as genuine as possible; use pauses; don't give too much information.
  • Be honest, tell them up front the bad news and then follow it up with a positive comment
  • Being honest, transparent and providing some insight into the competitive talent pool is helpful to lesson the blow.
  • By phone if possible, otherwise a personalized email with specific reasons for not being selected
  • Call
  • Call personally
  • call them
  • Call them if they have done a final interview.
  • Communicate to them as soon as we have a candidate selected. If they're our 2nd choice I wait until the offer has been accepted.
  • Consider candidate level and relationship(s); consitent approach; think candidate experience.
  • Direct
  • Direct and empathetic
  • direct yet kind
  • don't wait and be honest!
  • email
  • email
  • email
  • email
  • Email or Phone call
  • Email that they haven't been selected for further consideration + open invite for feedback call
  • For candidates who've interviewed in person I personally call them as opposed to getting a rejection email.
  • Gently - never by email, always with a call
  • Give a call
  • Honest, transparent and quick
  • I always say it's like ripping off a band aid, quick and to the point with as much feedback as I've been provided with
  • I am always as honest as I can possibly be.
  • I call them directly - I treat every rejection as I would an offer.
  • I call...not email. I tell them that we found someone who was a much stronger match
  • I find that emailing candidates is easier for them to digest the information versus a call.
  • I like to convey the message on the phone and provide both positive and development feedback to the candidate
  • I like to provide positive feedback with the negative
  • I like to speak with them over the phone when possible, vs an email.
  • I remind candidates to monitor our career page and encourage them to reach out to me anytime.
  • I tell them right away that they aren't getting the job and give factual feedback.
  • I try to make it more about us and the gaps we're trying to solve for--you're great at X, but we have people that X. We need Y.
  • I usually decline via email unless it's an outstanding candidate that i would like to maintain contact with. I will call them.
  • If an interview has been conducted, call first. If internal - the hiring manager calls and gives feedback. We can help if needed
  • It varies
  • Making the rejection a little personal and sensitive, with encourage to apply in the future.
  • Over the phone
  • Over the phone is preferable for certain roles, especially those you want to pipeline for future opportunities
  • Personal email or call
  • Phone
  • phone call
  • Phone call - positive feedback with they "why" behind the decision.
  • Phone call is best, but email is far better than no update at all (from what I've heard from candidates).
  • Phone call to deliver the message
  • Really depends on if the candidate is being considered or if the candidate did not do well in the interview
  • Setting expectations before the interview that I will call them and share the decision either way.Call-sendin email disrespctful
  • Short and sweet. Emphasize that the candidate selected has experience that better fits the requirements. Gratitude for interest.
  • start off with the positive
  • Suggesting other jobs to candidates
  • Thank them, let them know why they were not selected. It’s not what you say...it’s how you say it.
  • When I need to deliver bad news, I give a high-level reason as to why. When possible, it is good to give candidates feedback.
  • When in high volume, call them if they made it to on-sites; otherwise, semi-personalized email template
  • yes, but open to new ideas
  • Yes, I let them know it was a very difficult decision and encourage them to set up alerts for future opportunities that come up.
  • Yes, let them know from the start of the process I will be honest with them no matter the good or the bad.

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