RecruitersHR good practiceClosing the Loop: The Power of a Thoughtful Post-Application Follow-Up

Closing the Loop: The Power of a Thoughtful Post-Application Follow-Up

  • Monday, July 17, 2023
  • Lexane Sirac

Have you ever dropped the ball when a candidate does not match the job? Avoid the risk of damaging your potential GenZ talent pipeline with these practical and easy-to-apply solutions.

Man looking at a screen with red sunglasses

Our original research from 2022 has revealed that a quarter of Gen Z applicants have experienced being "ghosted" during a job application. However, our same research also shows that 78% of Gen Z applicants prefer to receive a personalized answer after being rejected for a job. And a whopping 83% will share this experience with their peers, offline and online. 

Don’t take the risk of damaging your potential talent pipeline. In this blog post, we'll explore effective ways to inform a candidate that they were not selected for the job, without negatively impacting their experience at any stage of the recruitment process. Our primary emphasis will be on developing a scalable approach that can accommodate even the most demanding schedules.

Before the first interview

Why is it important to reply to these candidates too?

It's crucial to respond to candidates before the first interview. Each applicant has put in a great deal of effort to reach your inbox. They've carefully selected the job listings that interest them, conducted research on your company, and ensured that their profile aligns with your expectations. After that, they've completed the actual application process, and personalized their resume and cover letter.

Although 23% of students and recent graduates may be hesitant to write a cover letter, they've still made an effort to submit a strong application. However, they may have doubts about whether you'll actually read their cover letter. As young and promising talents, they're seeking reciprocity. While they may be looking for a position, you're also searching for an employee, so you're both in demand. They expect you to consider their application and provide them with a response, as they've put in the effort to personalize their application.

How to reject your candidate while ensuring a positive experience

When dealing with a large pool of applicants before the first interview, it may be challenging to individually respond to each candidate who doesn't fit the role or hasn't made an effort to personalize their application to the job listing. However, it's essential to reject candidates in a way that ensures a positive experience for everyone involved.

While you don't need to call every applicant to provide individual feedback, it's important to acknowledge their application and inform them that they haven't been selected to proceed further in the process. Just like in a relationship, ghosting is not the right approach. A polite and considerate rejection email goes a long way in building a positive employer brand and preserving the candidate's impression of your company.

If you're unable to personally respond to each applicant, sending an automated email is a minimum-effort solution. While it's not ideal, it's better than leaving candidates in the dark. Consider providing an estimated timeline and letting them know that they will receive a follow-up if they're selected for the next steps. Investing in a one-click automated response system can significantly enhance your company's image and help create a positive candidate experience.

Going the extra mile

While a personalized email is always preferable, it's understandable that at this stage of the process, you may not be able to provide one to every applicant. However, taking the time to provide feedback to rejected candidates can go a long way. Letting them know why their resume didn't meet your requirements could turn them into engaged and motivated candidates for future job openings. It's a chance to build a pool of talented applicants that could save you time and money on future recruitment efforts.

Sending an automated email to rejected candidates is an efficient solution. While it may not be as personal, you can still make it attention-grabbing for standout candidates. With JobTeaser  send automated, yet personalized, rejection emails. Keep an eye out for it!

When you’ve had one or more interviews

“My worst memory as a student? I went to a job interview and after the interview, I’ve never received any news. There is no way I would ever apply there again.”
Juliette, a student in communications

After you've conducted interviews with potential candidates, it's time to deliver the news - even if it's not the news they were hoping for. But don't worry, this is your chance to leave a positive impression on your rejected applicants and keep them engaged for future opportunities. 

When you're letting someone down, it's important to soften the blow. Try to highlight something you liked about their profile or give them advice on what kind of role would be a better fit for their skills. For instance, if someone is lacking experience for a sales role, you could suggest that they start with an Inside Sales position.

And don't forget to make it personal! Get on the phone with your top candidates and deliver the news in a way that shows you care about them as individuals. By giving them specific feedback on their interview and offering tips for improvement, you'll not only be helping them, but also building a loyal following of future job-seekers.

But wait, there's more! You can even use automated tools to help you send out personalized rejection emails to all your applicants. And whatever you do, never forget to reply to an application. Providing constructive feedback will not only keep your rejected candidates engaged, but also leave a lasting impression on them and encourage them to refer more talented friends your way. Happy recruiting!