How to Turn down a Proposal without Hurting your Applicant

Turning down a proposal is easy, but doing it without hurting an applicant’s feeling is really a challenge. Recruiting managers are oftentimes stuck in this difficult situation. This could be due to their qualification level, work experience or some other factors. Just like how putting down a girl’s proposal could be difficult for some men, the same way rejecting a person who is seeking a job for a living could be troublesome for some recruiters.

We need to understand this fact that all applicants are important and possess some individual qualities and traits within themselves that would help the company to grow. If an applicant is not fit for a job description, maybe he does have some other qualities which could be later used for the company in the future. So keeping contacts of potential applicants in the business directory is really necessary.

Most of the time, employers never respond to applicants after the interview when they have already chosen someone making other applicants feel tensed or worried. This is not the right method for declining applicants. A proper feedback to the applicant should be given, clearly stating the reason why they have been rejected. The whole scenario will change if it is not done by recruiters. The rejected applicant would eventually find a job someplace else sooner or later but he will assume the manager who rejected him as being less profound. Even if he is approached again by that company in the future; he might turn down the company’s offer that time.

Moreover, if they spread negative vibes to the community about their interview experience with the company; other applicants will have a negative perception and the company’s brand image will be jeopardized and new potential applicants may opt-out for giving future interviews or accepting job offers from the company.

Every employer should know how to say ‘No’ when there is a reason and there are professional and courteous methods of communicating which should be practiced by job recruiter to turn down proposals without sounding rude, offending or hurting the candidate. In this article, you are about to learn the skills required to turn down proposals the correct way.

Let us come to the point now. So how should you turn down applicants without hurting them? Here are 2 of the most effective ways on how to do it.

1.Send an electronic mail

It would take a very minimal time to compose an e-mail. Some corporations or recruiting managers may not have the time to post letters to individual addresses of the declined applicants’ but the best practice is to write them an e-mail. If an e-mail is written for the first time, the same format can be sent to all the applicants by just editing a minor portion in the ‘reasons’ section.

Applicants came to interviews with lots of expectations of getting selected. They traveled from their homes to the company, postponed their other plans and meetings for the day and went thru other daily life hassles so when they can put effort to come to you. You as a manager should decline them but in a good behavior. By writing few lines of why the company didn’t hire them and providing them ‘feedback’ helps them to understand their situation and keep them motivated for future interviews.

An example of an e-mail could be like this:

Dear [applicant]

Thank you very much for coming to the job interview. We appreciate your effort and time to respond to our job advertisement. We are sorry for now as we cannot hire you but we are keeping your records with us for hiring you in the future according to the job descriptions that best fits you. We invite you to stay connected with us on our Facebook page [company name] and we wish you all the success in your career and in your future endeavors.

Best regards,

Waseq Ahmed

Recruitment manager, Human Resources

[Company name]

However, always remember not to include any lines in the letter that show personal assumptions or judgments about the applicant. Statements like ‘I don’t feel you will be able to take pressure on the job’ or ‘I didn’t like your personality and don’t think you would be able to work well will others’. This kind of tone may hurt the sentiments of applicants and are very inappropriate.

2. Make a phone call

Every applicant’s contact address and phone numbers are recorded before the interview. Well, the person who would be making the phone calls to the declined applicants’ would certainly not be giving any ‘good news’ so there are chances of encountering distress from some of the applicants. But this is an effective way to explain them crystal-clearly of why they haven’t been hired or if the company needs them to work for them in the future, then that can also be expressed much more generously.

An example of how a phone call would sound like is written below.

*Phone rings*

Sarah: Hello, Sarah Williams here

Martin: Hi Sarah, this is Martin calling you from [company name]. Do you have a sec to talk?

Sarah: Sure always, for you Martin…

Martin: Thanks, Sarah. I want to let you know that our company is really sorry for not being able to hire you for the job role. I cannot offer you this job but I personally want to thank you for coming to the interview. I appreciate your effort and I really enjoyed our conversation that day. Maybe we will cross roads again in the future who knows, life is long.

Sarah: I’m so upset right now; I was really expecting to get the job…

Martin: I will see what I can do for you. Please send me an invitation on LinkedIn and we can connect there.

Sarah: Thank you, Martin. You are working on a great company there.

Martin: Thank you, Sarah. I wish you luck on finding future jobs and I’ll let you know when job vacancy comes up in my company…

The most important thing to consider is we should keep our human qualities on top of our minds when we work. We should not choose to be immoral or bureaucratic. Life can become hectic and stressful at times but that should not affect our personal behavior, our attitude towards others and our judgments.