Calling a candidate in for an interview is the easy part. They’re excited, intrigued and want the job. Everyone is all smiles, and conversations are typically pleasant. It’s kind of like a first date – you learn about the candidate’s past, their goals and desires. At this stage, providing a great candidate experience shouldn’t be an issue because building camaraderie is easy. It’s letting go that can be a problem.
Breaking up is hard to do…
…especially when you really liked the candidate, just not for that particular role. So how do you inform them they’re not a good fit but still leave them with a good feeling about your company?
Creating a Positive Candidate Experience
The same basic relationship rules can apply to candidate experience when letting them go after a first or second interview:
- It’s not you, it’s me. Yes, it’s cliché. But it’s very unlikely that you’ve broken the candidates heart (if you did, examine your interview practices), so they will take it better than your high school girlfriend or boyfriend. Let them know that while you enjoyed meeting them and thought they were great, you were looking for a slightly different skill set or level of experience. If you want, give the candidate feedback on their interview skills and what they did well.
- Let’s stay friends. Maybe the candidate isn’t an exact fit for this particular position, but they’re definitely someone you want working for your company. Make sure to end on a positive note, and invite them to join your talent community and social media career pages.
- Polite but final. It can be hard to make a clean break, but that’s what is needed. Sometimes a candidate who looks good on paper is not a good fit once you meet him/her in person. If the candidate is wrong for the job and also wrong the company, be polite and final in your follow-up. Let them know that you enjoyed meeting them, but their skill set is not a match. Then, wish them luck in their search.
We want to know: how do you maintain employer brand perceptions during a candidate break up? Share your stories in the comments.
Image: Satish Krishnamurthy/Flickr