Writing letters to people can pose some challenges, especially if you need to send some bad news. After all, no one wants to receive a rejection letter as a candidate, but it matters while you hire people.
As you write a candidate rejection email, you need to identify the best approach to break the news to the person. Make sure you figure out the best practices and review these questions to help create the perfect candidate rejection email.
Why Do Recruiters Send Candidate Rejection Emails?
Recruiters receive many applications from candidates, giving them various options to find a good fit for their business. However, it involves the drawback of rejecting some candidates since they do not have enough positions for each applicant.
Recruiters will send rejection emails, so candidates do not need to wait. Otherwise, some may wait for your business to respond and view a lack of response as poor communication. However, if you send rejection emails, you offer closure to the candidates.
A rejection letter also works since you can identify what the candidate must improve. For example, if candidates do not have enough experience or miss specific skills, you can let them know those points.
In short, recruiters send rejection emails to keep candidates informed while remaining professional.
How Can You Make a Candidate Rejection Email More Engaging?
You want to make your candidates feel positive when they receive a rejection letter. However, when you go through the process, you must leave your candidate with an action they can take. This helps make your rejection email more engaging for the candidate.
For example, if you liked the application, you can tell your candidate to watch for more jobs and apply again. That way, they know your business wants them and can work with them again if another position arises.
If the candidate made some mistakes, you could point them out as a form of advice. That way, they know what they must improve on before they apply for a similar job.
How Can You Make a Candidate Rejection Email Less Painful To Receive?
No one wants to receive a rejection email, but you can always make it less painful for the recipient. You can create the perfect candidate rejection email if you find the right balance of informing the person and making it friendlier.
For example, you can highlight things you enjoyed in the interview, application, or cover letter. You can also point out which skills and experiences stuck out to you so the applicant can retain that information for future applications.
Five Steps for a Perfect Candidate Rejection Email
You must remember these five steps when crafting the ideal candidate rejection email. The process can help you approach the emails, tackle the key points, and keep the process professional.
1. State Names and Positions
Whenever you send a rejection email to someone, you need to make it clear you meant to send it to them. Otherwise, the candidates may think you accidentally sent it to the wrong person. However, you can avoid this by stating the candidate’s name and the corresponding position.
By clearly stating it, you avoid any confusion or miscommunication. You do not want someone to become hopeful that you sent the email to the wrong person, so do your best to avoid that problem.
You also want to mention the business to clarify the message's source. Depending on the candidate, they may apply for multiple places at once, so always strive for clarity.
2. Send It Promptly
When creating the perfect candidate rejection email, you do not want to take too long. Instead, you want to send the email promptly to inform the candidate about the situation. That way, the candidate does not wait weeks for a response.
As soon as you figure out which candidate to hire, you need to reach out to the others. Ensure you follow this point throughout the process, so people know immediately. For example, you can send emails to people after they send in resumes and even after interviews.
Always do your best to respond within a few days and no later than a week if possible.
3. Provide Some Explanations
You need to explain whenever you send a rejection email to a candidate. Otherwise, the candidate feels like you dropped them for no reason, so they quickly become frustrated or annoyed with your business.
While you do not need to tell them the exact reason, you should provide some form of explanation. For example, you can say you chose another candidate with different credentials rather than saying they do not have good enough credentials.
When you explain, you give closure to the candidates, so make sure you offer one whenever possible.
4. Remain Polite and Thankful
You must remain polite and thankful throughout the process when you craft a rejection email. First, start by pointing out how you appreciate the candidates applying for the position and their time. Doing so shows a level of respect on your part.
While you need to address the rejection, you can remain polite throughout the process. Make sure you conduct yourself professionally. Doing so will effectively get your point across while staying polite and friendly.
Always find something you can say to your candidates to thank them for their efforts. Even if it does not seem like much, it can lighten the blow of rejection.
5. Offer Some Encouragement and Compliments
Once you address the rejection, you must see your options to leave the candidate on a positive note. Some people do that by offering encouragement and compliments to the candidate.
For example, you can mention points you enjoyed during the interview or highlight high qualities in the resume. You can also note how your business offers more opportunities in the future for them to apply for those positions.
As you close out the email, you can give them hope and ensure they know they can find a job eventually.
How Long Should My Rejection Letter Be?
Generally speaking, you need to keep rejection letters short to avoid problems. However, if you make them too long, you may not provide enough information. On the other hand, if you make them too long, some people may not read through the entire email.
Usually, you can get your point across between one and three paragraphs, so aim for that length. You can use the following format and apply it to your rejection email.
- Use the first paragraph to explain the rejection and reasoning behind it.
- Discuss some of the positives in the second paragraph.
- Offer to reach out again if another position arises in the third paragraph.
However, if you can keep it shorter, you make it easier for the reader. That way, you can get the point across while leaving a positive impression on them to avoid burning bridges.
What Subject Line Should I Use for a Rejection Email?
Since you want applicants to open the email, you cannot give all the information in the subject line. Instead, you need to use phrases that inform them about the purpose of the email without explicitly stating the rejection.
For example, you want to mention the application status or use similar phrasing. That way, they understand you want to give them information about the application, so they do not ignore the email.
If you just mention the rejection in the subject line, that will deter them from opening the email, and they may miss important information you wanted to tell them.
You need to consider the available possibilities when you work as a recruiter. While hiring the best candidates, you must also reject some of them. Make sure you learn how to craft an ideal candidate rejection email to break the news.
Once you craft an email, you can focus on constantly improving your approach. As you do so, you can learn how to create the perfect email to send out to your candidates. That way, you can maintain positive impressions with them while getting your point across.