Why You Should Close Candidates On A Good Note (Even If You Know They’re NOT Going To Get The Job)

Elizabeth Dickerson Elizabeth Dickerson, Recruiting 7 Comments

Imagine a situation: You’ve set up an interview on the phone with a candidate. It’s immediately obvious that you won’t be submitting this candidate due to the client’s preferred specs/job requirements—or maybe you realize they’re just not a good fit.

What do you do?

Do you let them off the hook quickly? Because…they’re not going to get the job, so why waste time?

Do you spend the bare minimum on the phone with them?

My take? NO.

It’s important to treat each and every candidate as though they are a hot commodity and with respect. Make them feel excited and valued (even if you know they aren’t going to get the job). Apart from the emotional and human side, you should spend time learning as much as you can about the candidate, because even though they might not be a fit for this job, they could be the #1 pick for a different one in the future! Never burn a bridge.

Also, it’s important to show a certain amount of knowledge, respect, and value for candidates in order to protect your brand and your client’s brand. How you treat talent is a representation of your company and whom you’re hiring for—don’t forget that! 

Top reasons why you shouldn’t dump a candidate even if you think you’re not going to submit them.

  • They could have a candidate referral
  • That person could be a hiring manager now or in the future
  • They could refer more business to you
  • They could be a great fit for another job you get next week
  • You could also get a split commission if someone else uses the candidate but you documented them in your ATS and kept track of your data properly

Long story short: Leave a good taste in a candidate’s mouth, and they’ll come back.

Comments 7

  1. Pingback: Why You Should Close Candidates On A Good Note (Even If You Know They’re NOT Going To Get The Job) – True Wage

  2. Really love the ideas and ideal thoughts, Elizabeth. I know the goal is to help your fellow recruiters “up their game,” but seriously most do not give a holy horse hockey puck because there’s no incentive to change their ways. I have been lied to by recruiters, misled regarding positions, my communications ignored and I have been disrespected. I am a very peaceful and forgiving sort, but seriously recruiters have spurred me to question my faith in fellow human beings. As my savings dwindle, the credit card companies start calling, the possibility of keeping our house becomes more remote and my marriage crumbles, I have had enough of the BS games that recruiters play. And I am an accomplished candidate with an admirable track record, great interview skills and stellar references. I guess really the only thing that keeps me going is landing a position someday, and hoping I am in a position to encounter the recruiters, hiring managers and HR people who have made me feel utterly inhuman. I will take great joy in ignoring THEIR communications and slamming the phone on their ears. Sure, being the “better person” sounds nice, but sometimes people need to understand how their treatment of people can leave lasting scars.

  3. Walter, I too have been lied to by a so called ‘Professional’ as they call themself, AND even lied to a client about my status with the only intention being for the recruiters personal gain.
    I finally came to the conclusion in recent past, it was time for me to do something about this matter, to help others from falling into the same situation. My advice to you, do not let it just pass by and go unnoticed.
    Do something as I have and fight for your life!
    One at a time, we can legally get rid of so called recruiters who should be representing their companies in a more professional manner.

    1. Steve, thanks for the comment. We have had similar experiences! Would like to know how you fight back. It depends on where you live how much you can accomplish. In the State of California, for example, a verbal agreement is a contract. So if a recruiter promises the moon and is lying, they probably could be called to task on it. With that said, if you’re looking for work there isn’t a lot of bread to hire a lawyer! Also, you’d have to get proof like a recording though it may be illegal to do that one-way depending on the locality.

      Also, I think cos.’ hiring practices should really be under scrutiny. A lot of the time they are looking for people who have “worked in the same industry” or for a “similar company.” That really is an underhanded way of getting around competition law and potentially getting access to a competing firm’s trade secrets.

  4. That’s right, I agree on the reasons why we should not dump them even if we are not going to recommend them. We should be nice to every candidate, they deserve the respect for at least trying their best to be a part of your company.

  5. Pingback: 50 Best Blogs for HR Pros: Human Resources Trends, Tips, Insights - Wonolo

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