rejection email for job candidates | ExactHire

How to write a rejection email for job candidates

A rejection email for job candidates is not always easy to write. And informing an applicant that they were not selected for an open position is definitely not the highlight of a human resources professional’s day. The task is one of the hardest to complete, as no one wants to deliver disappointing news to others. However, rejection is inevitable, even for individuals with a stellar background and coveted skills.

It’s important to keep in mind that we have all experienced rejection at some point in time. Whether it was not being selected for a lucrative job opportunity, or being passed over for a particular award or acknowledgment–we’ve all felt the sting of rejection. Recalling how that sting affected oneself can often lead an HR professional to take extra steps to buffer the disappointment when delivering rejection messages to job applicants. Kindness truly matters.

Can You Kindly Reject Job Candidates?

Jobseekers want to know their status in the application process. Even if it’s a “no”, applicants need to know their status so they can have closure and shift their job search direction. Receiving feedback, even if it is a rejection, is especially instrumental for those applicants who have had some form of interview. Imagine the confusion that a jobseeker might have if they never hear back from an organization after spending time discussing their qualifications and how they seek to contribute to a prospective employer.

A paramount function of HR is to build relationships with individuals. This goes not just for current employees, but also  for prospective employees. What type of relationship can be built if an employer does not update applicants on their application statuses, or let applicants know that they are no longer in consideration for a position?

Starting the rejection conversation is hard, but it demonstrates professionalism within the organization’s HR department and gives the two parties, HR and the jobseeker, an opportunity to form a connection. While this jobseeker might not be the best fit for the particular role in which they applied, that same person might be the person best qualified for a future opening, so don’t burn bridges

Candidate Rejection Letter Template

In the rejection email template sent by an organization, craft the content with sincerity. The sincerity genuinely shown in the rejection email can help the jobseeker stay motivated and interested in your company. Also, this will help mitigate the chance the jobseeker will spread negativity about their applicant experience to others. Word of mouth can be the best or worst recruitment marketing for an employer, so strive to leave applicants with a positive experience.

Time is of the essence in the HR world. Using personalized mass emailing within your ATS will help make the communication process quicker and easier when communicating with applicants. ExactHire HR Software offers the ability for users to create communication templates for immediate and future use. This templates streamline communication with applicants, and allows users to view the communication flow between your team and the applicants.

When crafting communication templates, it is helpful to use personalization tags (AKA shortcuts that personalize content) to customize your message. Personalization tags in a communication template allow the sender to specify items such as name, job listing, company name, etc. This ensures a more “personal” feel with less work.

When writing a rejection email, be concise. Longer emails, at first glance, can imply favorable news. Also, it is more personable for an actual employee to sign the message.  However, if there are safety concerns after sending a rejection email, do not include specific names or direct contact information.

Example of Candidate Rejection Letter

Here is an example of a sample rejection message for your use. Words between the # symbols indicate variable content found in the candidate record. CAPS indicate customized content (based on hiring manager or company).

Dear #first_name#,

Thank you for your interest in the #job_listing# at #company_name#. Your time is valuable, and we appreciate your effort in applying. (Use interviewing if an applicant has interviewed.)

We are grateful to have had many qualified applicants for the role. We carefully evaluated candidates’ qualifications and skills. Although your qualifications were impressive, we are moving forward with another candidate whose qualifications best fit the requirements of the position.

(If an interview has been conducted, consider including: Although your interview itemized your skills, we did not proceed because of REASON FOR REJECTION. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email address or phone number.)

Please visit COMPANY JOBS PAGE to explore opportunities to join our organization as we encourage you to apply again in the future if you find a job opening better suited to your qualifications.

Again, thank you for your interest in working with us!


Personalized Candidate Communication

HR professionals can simplify a challenging task by using personalized candidate communication templates to soften news of a rejection. By delivering personalized updates to job applicants, even if it is a rejection, employers promote a positive employer brand. In return, employers will enjoy a larger applicant pool and succeed in providing clarity around what their organization’s needs. Creating personalized communication templates in ExactHire HR Software can help streamline the communication process. Click here to learn more!

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