Crafting Effective Rejection Emails for Job Applicants

When it comes to rejecting job applicants, sending a rejection email is not only the right thing to do but also crucial for maintaining a positive employer brand. In this article, we will explore the importance of rejection emails and provide ti...

Crafting Effective Rejection Emails for Job Applicants

When it comes to rejecting job applicants, sending a rejection email is not only the right thing to do but also crucial for maintaining a positive employer brand. In this article, we will explore the importance of rejection emails and provide tips for writing effective ones. By sending respectful and informative rejection emails, organizations can uphold their reputation and improve their overall hiring efforts.

The Importance of Rejection Emails

Notifying candidates about their rejection is a matter of common decency and shows respect for their time and effort. Failure to send rejection letters can lead to negative reviews, deter future candidates from applying, and harm your employer branding. According to a CareerArc survey, 72 percent of job applicants share their negative hiring experiences online or with others, impacting your organization's reputation. Conversely, investing in a positive candidate experience has been shown to improve the quality of hire by 70 percent, as per a study by the Brandon Hall Group.

Types of Rejection Emails

There are three common types of rejection emails, each suited for different stages of the hiring process: the short rejection email, the expanded rejection email, and the personalized rejection email. Let's explore each of them:

Short Rejection Email

This type of rejection letter is concise and suitable for candidates who did not progress beyond the initial application stage. Here's a template to get you started:
"Hello [Candidate's Name],

Thank you for applying for the [Role Title] position at [Company Name]. After reviewing your application, our hiring team has decided to proceed with other candidates. We appreciate your interest and wish you the best of luck in your job search."

Feel free to add a line about the high volume of applicants or encourage the candidate to apply for future roles. Automate this letter by creating a template in your Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Expanded Rejection Email

For candidates who have participated in a phone or video interview, an expanded rejection email is more appropriate. Build upon the short rejection letter and express gratitude for their time. Consider using this template:
"Hello [Candidate's Name],

Thank you for speaking with us regarding the [Role Title] position at [Company Name]. While we appreciate your time and the opportunity to learn more about your background and qualifications, we have decided to move forward with other candidates. We wish you the best in your job search and future endeavors."

Feel free to customize this email to reflect the specific details of the interview and highlight any positive aspects of the candidate's performance.

Personalized Rejection Email

For candidates who have undergone a formal in-person interview, a personalized rejection email is ideal. It should provide feedback that helps them grow professionally while avoiding any discriminatory language or remarks. Consider these tips for crafting a personalized rejection email:

  • Wait until your ideal candidate accepts the offer before sending rejection emails to runners-up.
  • Acknowledge the candidate's strengths alongside the feedback you provide.
  • Leave the door open for future employment by archiving their details in your ATS.
  • Limit back-and-forth conversations, but allow candidates to ask questions if they wish.
  • Remember, the goal of a personalized rejection email is to provide constructive feedback while maintaining a professional and respectful tone.

Sending rejection emails to job applicants is not only an ethical practice but also vital for preserving your organization's reputation and improving overall hiring efforts. By utilizing the appropriate type of rejection email based on the candidate's stage in the hiring process, you can convey respect, appreciation, and helpful feedback. Remember, even a short rejection email can have a positive impact on your long-term hiring success and candidate perception of your organization.

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