After sending semi-automated rejection emails to 300 job candidates this month (for 3 jobs), I was floored by how many people thanked me for letting them know. For example:
I really want to thank you for the response. It is refreshing to hear back from a company about an opening and I thank you for that. Hope the new Account Coordinator fits in well at Coalmarch.
Thanks Karl for responding. There are very few employers responding to applicants these days. With the market as it is, I’m sure they are getting flooded with resumes. However, it’s nice to know what you’ve sent has been received and when you’re not in the running for a position any longer so you can focus on other things.
I understand that you are very busy with receiving applicants’ information for this position. Which is why I want to personally thank you for your email. It made my evening.
Fast rejection beats slow rejection. And slow beats never.
During my marketing job search in 2010, I remember how slow companies were to send rejection emails. One place took four months to send rejections for two marketing positions. Another organization never sent a rejection (over a year later, I’m not holding my breath). And a third just faded away after two rounds of interviews…
Several months into the job-search process, I finally started appreciating getting a rejection at all, because at least it gave me some closure.
Lesson learned? Tear off the Band-Aid and send a rejection email.
Being on the “other side” now as a hiring manager for my department and a recruiter or screener for others, I know it’s a challenge to keep up with specific applicants, especially candidates who aren’t in the interview funnel.
But if a company is using an applicant tracking system (ATS) like my favorite (TheResumator.com), there’s no excuse. Rejecting candidates is built right in. It’s part of the point of using any automated system. There are workflow steps and there are email templates. Press a few buttons and it’s done.
I’m really glad I work for a company where I have the freedom to send nice rejection emails — much less where I’m “allowed” to send rejection emails at all. I know how cruel it is to keep people hanging, especially after we’ve already made a decision, so I don’t.
And consider your corporate reputation. When the job market turns, do you want to be known as the company that isn’t nice to job applicants?
To recap the obvious, I see at least three reasons why hiring managers or HR departments should be sending timely rejection emails to everyone they don’t hire:
- It’s not hard.
- It’s the right thing to do.
- It makes you look good.
What have you seen in your current or past job search?
If you’ve applied for a job somewhere — now or in the past — and you’re still waiting for a reply, I’m sorry. But if it’s any consolation, you can be pretty sure it’s not personal.
What do you think? Please share a comment below!