For most people in the corporate world, it’s never fun to have to explain to someone why he or she didn’t get hired for an open position at your company, especially if it’s a job that he or she seemed great for. But if you’re ever in a position of having to hire somebody, chances are that at some point, you’re simply going to have to. If and when that time comes, you’re going to want to make that process as painless as possible.
Here are three simple tips on how to do so.
Explain the difficult and complex hiring process
There’s no shame in explaining that there were so many qualified candidates to choose from. Most of the time, a simple, “We liked you, but we decided to go with someone who possesses a more directly congruent background as it relates to this specific opportunity.” With that said, be sure to navigate this avenue with care. Be sure not to belittle or criticize the candidate; rather, try to keep your explanation centered around the fact that someone else was even more qualified. Sometimes, as qualified as someone may appear to be, he or she may not be a good fit for your company; as long as you ensure that you’re speaking positively about other candidates, and not negatively about the candidate you’re informing did not get the job, you can even explain that, too. For example: “We just believe this other candidate was a better fit” might be all you need to say.
Offer to keep all doors open
When you’re finished explaining that the candidate didn’t get the job, invite him or her to connect with you on social media. This will demonstrate that there truly are no hard feelings. What’s more, in many cases this is not a mere symbolic gesture with no real substance to it. Sometimes, you may have simply interviewed the right candidate for a different job- but you interviewed him for the wrong job. It’s very possible that one day, that right job will open up, at which point you can always reach back out to the candidate and start a conversation about that job.
Keep it short and sweet
As with any conversation that you don’t really want to have, but need to have, keep it as brief as you possibly can. Do not waste time with any small talk; get right to the point and eliminate any nerves the candidate may have. It’s not fair to either party to prattle on and on about something that has nothing to do with the serious subject matter at hand. Instead, introduce yourself, explain that the person didn’t get the job, and then wrap up by wishing the candidate well and inviting them to connect on social media to show that there were no hard feelings. This allows you to get on with your work day, but also allows the candidate more time to get back to their job search.