According to a CareerBuilder study, 75% of candidates don't hear back after applying, and 60% candidates said that employers didn't bother to notify them of the decision after an interview. Not hearing back from recruiters is on the top of candidates' list of complains.

As a recruiter, sending candidate rejection emails is definitely not the favorite part of your job, and you'd much rather focus on engaging candidates who still have a shot at getting the role. However, it is common decency to tell them you have decided to move forward with other applicants.

Why it is important that you send out rejection emails:

  • Employer Branding: According to CareerArc's Candidate Experience Study, 72% job applicants will share a poor candidate experience online, or with someone directly.
  • Professionalism/ Human decency: If a candidate invested time in applying to the company, or showing up for an interview, this is the least you can do as an employer to thank them for their time.
  • Ease of automation: Even if you do not have time to personalize the rejection email for each candidate, it is so easy to send out automated rejection emails. Even an automated rejection email is 10x better than leaving the candidate wondering, and following up.
  • Saves time: It also saves a lot of your time in responding to follow up emails/ calls from candidates who are not a good fit.

What should a rejection email include:

  • Thank you (personalized if possible): You should always thank the applicant for their time, and interest in your organization, especially if they spent time interviewing with you. This shows that you respect their time.
  • Encouragement to apply again: Even if the candidate might not be a good fit for the role at this time, they might be a good fit in the future, or for another role. Encouraging them to apply in the future keeps the door open for a future opportunity to work together.
  • Feedback: If the candidate interviewed with your company, the interviewer might have specific feedback that could help them in their job search. Most companies refrain from giving feedback for the fear of getting sued. One good way to avoid this is by avoiding any written comments (over a quick call).

Rejection email templates:

Depending upon the stage at which you are rejecting a candidate, you can use one of the following templates

Application stage:

Hi <CandidateName>,

Thank you for your interest in the <RoleName> position with <CompanyName>. We appreciate you taking the time to share your details in your application- we have reviewed the same.

We have chosen to proceed with a few other candidates who have more relevant experience.

Again, we appreciate your time, and we wish you the best of luck in your career endeavours.

Sincerely,
<RecruiterName>

Post interview stage:

Hi <CandidateName>,

Thank you for your interest in the <RoleName> position with <CompanyName>. We appreciate you taking the time to interview with our team.

At this time, we have chosen to proceed with another candidate who has more relevant experience.

Again, we appreciate your time, and we wish you the best of luck in your career endeavours.

Sincerely,
<RecruiterName>

Post interview stage (if you were particularly impressed with them but it wasn't the right time):

Hi <CandidateName>,

Thank you for your interest in the <RoleName> position with <CompanyName>. We appreciate you taking the time to interview with our team.

At this time, we have chosen to proceed with another candidate who has more relevant experience. We were impressed with your background and knowledge and feel that there might be a better fit in the future.

We hope you'll consider applying again.

Wishing you the best of luck in your career endeavors!

Sincerely,
<RecruiterName>

Job hunting is stressful, the least you can do is to make it easier for candidates to move on by sending them a quick rejection email. If you're one of the few companies that sends out timely rejection emails, your candidates will definitely appreciate it, and it will have a positive impact on your employer brand.

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