How to Say No to a Strong, Well Qualified Applicant
In the current job market, it is not unusual to be inundated with hundreds –or thousands – of resumes for one open position. Once you whittle through the stack and begin interviewing, your hope is to find the one perfect fit for your company. Occasionally, two well-qualified candidates make the short list and while you have to choose one, you don’t necessarily want to bun the bridge with the other.
Should You Just Say No?
When you have two strong applicants for one position, you might want to make an offer to the second applicant in the future. Simply telling the person that the position was given to someone else is not the best way to maintain their interest.
It is good customer relations and good business sense to turn down a strong applicant as diplomatically as possible. While the other person was a better fit today, the second applicant might could be ideal for a position that opens up in the future. Consider using the following guidelines to say no while not souring the applicant with your business.
- Start with a telephone call about your decision. Tell the applicant that you selected someone whose qualifications were a better match for this particular position.
- Express the positive aspects of their experience and background. Leave them with a good feeling about interviewing with your company.
- Never explicitly say why the applicant was not selected unless there is an objective reason. You might share that the applicant lacked specific job-related experience.
- Follow-up with an email or a written personalized letter with comments shared during the interview or telephone call. Make it clear that you will keep their information and reach out should something open up.
The reputation of your company is critical to the ongoing ability of attracting top talent. Build a positive reputation through gracefully saying no to well-qualified applicants. If you are New York or New Jersey based company and are having trouble attracting top talent, then please contact me. I can find great candidates for you on a temp, temp to hire, or direct hire basis.
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