When you’re interviewing for your open position, you will meet multiple people but only be able to hire one. This means there can be several well-qualified individuals who will not get the job. How you respond to them is just as important as how you make the offer to your selection. Burning bridges goes both ways and with the value of word-of-mouth and social media connections, you can’t afford to have someone disgruntled with their interviewing experience. Here are some ways you can say the right thing to someone who doesn’t get the job at your company.
Be upfront about not getting the job.
There are a lot of reasons managers don’t communicate with candidates who didn’t get the offer. They may not want to deal with confrontation. Or they may get busy so it drops off the priority list. But each person you interview deserves some notification that they haven’t gotten the job and the general reason why. This will help them move forward in their job search rather than become jaded.
Stay positive about the hiring process.
To this end, you want to stay positive. Feel free to present constructive criticism in a positive way, but otherwise, you should focus on the positive reasons you made the decision to hire someone else. Tell the employee about why someone else made the cut, which can give them an idea of what they might be missing when applying and interviewing for jobs.
Offer to contact them when things change.
Things do change. A perfect hire can turn into a nightmare when you least expect it. Or, other employees may leave or you may experience growth in your industry. The top candidates for your open jobs are often the biggest untapped resource for future jobs when most companies simply start over again. If they made the cut once, they are worth looking at again.
Follow up with them in the future.
The real key when it comes to offering to contact them in the future is to actually follow through on that process. Maintain a file for each department with potential candidates that you’ve met before. Follow up with them when you have a need or throughout the year just to keep in touch. Check in with them about where they are now, which can also give you insight on competition.