As a general rule in HR management, it is considered both professional and courteous to send rejection letters to IT candidates who have not been chosen for the job. However, this doesn’t have to be as unpleasant or time consuming as you may think. Here are some tips for treating even your rejected tech candidates right, whilst building good will and a good reputation with thoughtful rejection letters.
The first thing you should know about rejection letters is that you should always send them to all candidates whom you have not chosen for an assignment. Why? Simply stated, to send rejection letters to only a select few people could be construed as hiring discrimination. In this day and age, with an increased number of unemployed people, lawsuits claiming hiring discrimination are rampant. Don’t take a chance – send them out to everyone you don’t choose and keep a copy with each candidate’s resume for at least 6 months in a secure rejected candidate file.
Secondly, develop a form rejection letter, that doesn’t sound too much like a generic letter. Start out with a respectful greeting to the candidate (you will address the candidate personally by name), followed by a statement that thanks the candidate for applying for a job with the company. Then add a general statement to let the rejected candidate know that while you value his or her unique skills and abilities, at this time you have decided to move forward with another candidate. Don’t get into specifics, nor address any particular skills or traits in this letter. Wrap it up by inviting the rejected candidate to apply again in the future for another open assignment.
Send the rejection letter out within 2 weeks of your hiring decision. Any sooner and the recipient is likely to respond in a negative way. However, this is a good time frame to let the rejected IT candidate know your decision so he or she can move on to another opportunity. If the candidate does happen to respond to the rejection letter, do not engage the person directly nor give any specifics about the reasons for not choosing them over the phone or by email. Diffuse the situation by repeating the rejection letter and again thanking the rejected candidate for their time, and letting them know they are welcome to re-apply if they wish for future consideration.
Remember, it’s very upsetting for a rejected candidate to get bad news, especially if the candidate has been out of work for a long time. Be kind and think how you would want to be treated given this situation. There is also the possibility that you can foster good will with the candidates by being professional and prompt about sending out rejection letters.
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