Five tips to turn candidate rejection into a positive experience for everyone!

No one likes being the bearer of the bad news, so how can you make candidate rejection less awkward for all concerned?

Five tips to turn candidate rejection into a positive experience for everyone! Feature



No one likes to be the bearer of bad news! However, in the recruitment industry rejecting candidates is an inevitable part of the process and possibly the least enjoyable for many recruiters. 

Did you know that it is common for many companies to not send rejection letters at all – shocking in the modern-day - leaving candidates in the dark about their application until they eventually give up and move on? You don’t want to be known as one of those companies, do you?

Knowing that the recipient of your communication is going to be upset that they didn’t get the position is one that we can all relate to, but how can you make rejection a slightly less bitter pill to swallow?

Let’s look at our top five tips on how you can make the process easier for all those involved!



 How long after an interview do you know that a candidate has been unsuccessful? Is it instant or a few days later after you’ve interviewed all your candidates? Once you've made your decision, let the candidate know as soon as possible – don’t leave them hanging on, getting their hopes up. 

By being efficient with your rejection, candidates can pick themselves up, dust off the rejection and move forward with their job search.



Imagine getting a notification, you open your emails, and it reads as a robot has written it - it's guaranteed a one-way ticket to the bin! We think that putting some warmth and humanity into your communication will make all the difference to the candidates - from using their name to including any reason they were unsuccessful. 

They say that honesty is the best policy! So, be honest with your feedback – did they just miss out to a candidate with more experience, did they not have the fundamental skills required for the position, or did they give the impression that they wouldn’t be a good fit for the company? Whatever the reason be transparent - it'll be appreciated in the long run!

By including a reason, it shows that you’ve valued the time the candidate has put into the process, it could even help them with future applications. The little touches really do make a difference! 



How long do you spend on candidate rejection admin? If you phone every candidate, it soon turns into a long and time-consuming process, your time is valuable, it could be spent more efficiently elsewhere.

With over 80% of the adult population in the UK having an active email address, many recruiters opt to communicate via email. It is time-efficient, and it saves you from any uncomfortable conversations. 

Without an ATS implemented, you could still be typing out individual emails. Reach can make your lines of communication more manageable and streamlined, allowing you to be personable and specific to the individual candidate while saving you time.

The most important thing is to make sure that you contact all candidates! Not only does the candidate appreciate the response but it helps your company brand – you are less likely to get negative reviews online. If a candidate has a bad experience, then they are unlikely to apply for a future position with you let alone remain your customer!



Breaking bad news to a candidate is a conversation no one wants to have, we have all experienced it at some point so remember how you felt and how you would want to be spoken to!

The way you layout your email can make all the difference - the key things to remember to include;

- The candidate’s name

- Thanking them for applying

- Breaking the news to them

- Giving meaningful and accurate feedback

Take the time now to write a considered and well-thought-out email – you will thank your past self for saving you the time now!



How you wrap up your email depends on whether the candidate is suitable for another position, did they just miss out and you would like to encourage them to apply again in the future or they are completely unsuccessful.  

For candidates that were silver medallists, you may wish to encourage them to connect on LinkedIn or let them know that you will keep them on file. By offering encouragement, they will hopefully apply again in the future or even better you may approach them!

What about unsuccessful candidates? You could use phrases such as ‘best of luck with your future endeavours’ or ‘we wish you all the best in your future career’. These sentences are a bit more closed booked while remaining positive.



We have a bonus tip for you – how many times have you had candidates who would be an ideal fit for another position, but you mislaid their file and ultimately forgot about them? By implementing Reach, you can set up a talent pool, where you can access all your prospective talent who may have just missed out previously.

Talent pools can significantly reduce your time and cost to hire as they will soon become your first port of call when recruiting for future positions. A win-win all around!


Reach is here to make your candidate rejection process more controllable and efficient. By following our top tips and automating your responses, you can keep candidates feeling appreciated and project a great impression of your company. To find out more about how Reach ATS can benefit your business, call us on 01527 574408 or email us at [email protected]




National Theatre

"I would totally recommend Reach to another organisation. The level of support we get and the responsiveness is incredible. For us, it's been a total success..."

Tony Peers - HR Director