Monday, June 01, 2009

Sending The Job Applicant Rejection Letter

Over at George's Employment Blawg, he writes about job applicant rejection letter dos and don'ts and writing an appropriate "Dear John" letter to an unsuccessful applicant. One part that I have to agree with George strongly on is that the applicant rejection letter is an opportunity to build goodwill. So many times, especially during a high application period such as the one we are currently in, Human Resource professionals don't even bother writing back to applicants to tell them that they have been rejected or, when they do, it is without any personality. The fact that there are many applicants out there does not mean that applicants who are not hired by the firm need to be treated poorly. I don't know how many times I've applied to jobs and never heard back. I have come to expect it. The times when I get most upset is when you've actually gone through the process of having an interview. If you're requiring an applicant to take time out of their schedule to meet with you, the least you can do is let them know that they can move on and try to find another position.
One co-worker of mine was applying to a job at another firm--a huge multi-national bank. He submitted his resume online, was contacted by Human Resources, and went through three rounds of interviews there, each one which required him to take off time from work to travel for the interviews. After the third one was over, he spoke to the Human Resources contact who told him a decision would occur within the next few days...and then he never heard back from his Human Resources contact. When he finally got back in touch with the Human Resource contact 3 weeks later, she let him know they weren't sure if they were going to hire anyone at that time but they'd let him know later that week. He's still to hear back from her.
As my co-worker told me: "I would have been fine had I been told that I had not gotten the job or they were not sure if they were going to be hiring at the time. But at this point in the process, after being strung along for months now, I'm not sure I would even accept a job if they offered it to me. I had to take off three days of work and spent around $70 on transportation to and from the interviews. And for what? I just hate being treated this way."
Just a thought to put in your head if you're thinking of just ignoring an applicant instead of rejecting them, hoping they'll just go away...

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