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How to Turn Down Job Applicants properly

HRD-Ukraine, № 9-10 (252-253), 2014

Article written by Aleksandr  Kostyna,

Senior Consultant of NRG Company

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and
over again and expecting different results.”
Albert Einstein

Aleksandr Kostyna, Concultant of NRG

Aleksandr Kostyna,
Concultant of NRG

As in any other business during recruitment process it is important to give a feedback. There are several assessment stages that are preceded by a work of the recruiter. Their results must be submitted in the form of feedback: an interview at the agency and with the client. The result of the assessment stage is an invitation to the next meeting, job offer and refusal.

Everything is clear with the positive result, which is expected and leads to the indescribable delight of all those involved in the selection process. But the refusal is more informative and is intended for a larger number of people classified as candidates who, unfortunately, haven’t passed the assessment stages in the recruitment process. The problem of the refusal is that a particular category of people does not expect to face it; they are just not ready for the fact that they have faced a failure and may not fit to the employer. But it is the information that will help the candidate to find the bearings in order to strive for a suitable job offer next time.

Moreover, the refusal to the applicant in our company has a certain purpose – the preservation of the positive attitude of the candidate towards the company and his adequate self-esteem.
Refusals may be written and oral. We consider the latter as the most efficient and qualitative method, which allows us to save time and gives the emotional content of refusal, as we empathize with each candidate with whom we work.

As a rule, the refusal to the candidate comes after the following:
• telephone interview;
• personal interview at the agency;
• checked recommendations;
• interview with the client;
• the applicant is working for a company that is our customer.

How to build a proper refusal? In practice, the refusal’s structure is as follows:
• classification of the causes of non-compliance;
• refusal’s argumentation;
• response to the objection;
• readiness to discuss new proposals;
• exchange contacts for the future.

In practice, all backgrounds of refusal can be grouped into three categories: professional, motivational and personal.

Professional reason for refusal related to a mismatch of the candidate experience and professional qualification requirements, which were specified by the general manager or by the Job Description.
Motivational reason. When qualifications of the candidate, the status of the position, the salary expectations are above the proposed vacant position. It seems that the candidate is experienced, but the lack of opportunities to grow in the small position can obviously play a low-down trick in the future. That is why it must be discussed in advance.
Personal reason: the candidates are passive or too aggressive. The reason for a refusal can be a bad character, uncivilized behavior, defects or illiterate speech. The employers are not willing to see candidates who are rude, who provide contradictory or obviously false information, in any company because such candidates will bring you and your customer’s business a bad reputation. Speech defects or illiteracy leads also to job refusal in the cases, when the responsibilities connected with communication with customers. In other cases it is necessary to coordinate with the client such details.

Examples of refusals to the candidates:

• Refusal that results from the telephone interview because of professional reasons.
“Thank you for taking your time. It was very nice to meet you and learn about your experience. Unfortunately, I cannot offer your candidacy for this position. Since one of the key requirements requires a good command of English (experience more than three years, the age limit etc.)”.

If the candidate starts to object, you can give the following answer: “I absolutely agree with you, but the requirements stated by the client, are very critical for us. If after the market research we see, that there are no experts in this field, we will talk with our client about the review of requirements.” Further it is important to discuss the suggestions for new proposals: “Let’s discuss again your interests; I will make some notes in your CV.”
In the last step, it is important to discuss the following: “I hope to receive your detailed (updated) CV which I will add to the base of the agency. In the future, we will offer an interesting position for you, based on your experience and expectations. “

• Refusal after the results of face-to-face interview (motivational reason).

We compare the candidate’s experience and the job description (requirements). Decisions are taken together i.e. candidate also takes part in the discussion of the solution: “I’ll be honest, and you can see for yourself that your qualifications are higher than the required …” or “status of your position is above the proposed … , “or your expectations are under the terms of payment of the above proposed in this position … “If the candidate proceeds with objections, we can offer the following replies:” We have discussed your interests. This proposal is more like a step back in your career.

Not only experience and professional skills are important to our customer, but also motivation, desire to work in this position, for this company for a long time. “Discussion of the expectations for the new proposals, “Yes let’s discuss again the fields of your interests, I’ll make notes in your CV.” Then we provide a consultation on the base of our knowledge about the job search channels and talk about supply and demand in the labor market. Candidates appreciate it, and complete the conversation with the ability to contact in future: “Your resume is in the agency’s database, we will continue to offer interesting job for you, based on your experience and expectations.”

• Refusal on the base of the checked recommendations is one of the most important refusals, because for many candidates information from third parties or from the former CEO is an unexpected surprise. It is important to remember that you can get a negative recommendation from the CEO, if he is aware that the candidate goes to a competitor, or an active participant in the market. Often you can see it while asking commercial or sales director to give you recommendation for middle managers in the commercial company.

Since the negative characteristic is often subjective, we recommend to obtain extra recommendations to have an objective assessment of the experience of the candidate. The recruiter must inform the candidate about the recommendations and the real reason for the refusal.

• Refusal to the candidate who is currently working for the company, which is the subject of our ethical credo. Sometimes you receive information about the candidate without the name of the company he works for. If during the interview the recruiter reveals that the candidate is an employee of our client, we recommend you the following option of refusal: “The company, for which you are working for, is our client, and we cannot make an offer to the worker of our client, because of the ethical credo. These are the ethical standards of our business. If you are sure about your decision to leave the company, announce it to your supervisor or HR-manager, only then we can discuss the job offer. “Always give a feedback to the candidate; it is a sign of good taste and your professionalism.

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