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Why do employers miss communicating results to candidates?

Why Employers Don't Respond After Job Interviews

June 8, 2023

By Team tawgl

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Why Employers Don't Respond After Job Interviews

“Closure” - the term is as important in a job search process for a candidate as any other situation. When an employer misses out on rejection communication, they are not just depriving candidates of timely and useful feedback for their job search but also demotivating them. While some companies do have great practices around this, the majority do not get back. This is frustrating for the candidate to say the least.

Why do candidates not hear back from employers?

Now let's look at the other side of the coin. Why would an employer not get back? Here are some common reasons of why “closing the loop” fall through the cracks:

High application volume - In most cases, the application volume received by the employers is very high. This makes the shortlisting or filtering process that much more tedious despite help from Applicant tracking systems. The focus always being higher on closing the position, the recruiters, even those with best of intentions, de-prioritise rejection communication. 

The process is taking too long and they are not done deciding - More often than not, interview processes go on and on. The hiring managers want to look at a few more candidates to see if they can get better, the ideal candidate is not very clear to the hiring team itself so it's a discovery process, some or the other person involved is busy or on leave. There are many potential reasons for the delay or lengthening of the process. This eventually leads to decisions being late and it feels like forever for the initially screened candidates.

Interviewer fatigue - Interviewer fatigue can potentially contribute to the possibility of missing out on rejection communication. Interviewers, especially those involved in extensive hiring processes, may experience fatigue due to the repetitive nature of interviews, time constraints, and the cognitive demands of evaluating candidates. This can lead to oversights, indecisiveness or communication errors

It's a low priority position - In certain cases, rejection communication for a low priority position can be overlooked or delayed compared to higher priority positions. This can occur due to a variety of reasons - most common one being limited resources, a higher volume of applicants for higher priority positions, or a focus on expediting the hiring process for critical roles. 

Background check processes are taking too long - Lengthy background check processes can potentially impact the timing of rejection communication. Background checks are often a crucial part of the hiring process, particularly for positions that require a high level of trust and responsibility. However, the duration of these checks can vary based on several factors, including the complexity of the candidate's background, the thoroughness of the check, and the efficiency of the background check provider.

There has been a change - Organisations operate in a dynamic internal and external environment. Sometimes, this may lead to change in priorities or strategy leading with a percolating effect on a related position being hired for. The impact could be the position going on hold, requirements changing, reporting structure changing, position being scrapped or delayed for a few months. Any of this would mean the hiring team has to rethink the role and they may miss out on communicating to candidates involved.

The recruiter is generally avoiding sharing bad news - Recruiters have the responsibility to communicate both positive and negative news to candidates, including rejection. While it is possible for some recruiters to delay or avoid sharing bad news, it is not an approach that should be generalised to all recruiters. Delivering rejection news can be uncomfortable or challenging for some recruiters. It may involve delivering disappointing news to candidates and potentially having difficult conversations. This discomfort may lead to avoidance or delays in delivering rejection communication for some recruiters.

Legal Concerns - In some cases, recruiters may be cautious about providing detailed feedback or explanations for rejections due to legal concerns. Concerns about potential liability or the risk of inadvertently disclosing information that could be used against the organisation may influence the level of detail shared in rejection communications. This maybe truer for regions that are more litigious than others. 

Why is closure so important?

Even with the most rightful reasons however, it is important to not break the communication interface with a candidate because:

Overall, effective rejection communication plays a vital role in maintaining goodwill, building relationships, and cultivating a positive perception of the organisation among candidates, enhancing the overall candidate experience.

Also Read: How Reduce dropouts for your start-up with Tawgl

Strategies to avoid missing result communication?

Here are a few practical strategies with which organisations can avoid faltering on result communication:

Leverage Technology - This is the most foolproof way of ensuring that candidates are in loop and closures happen. An ATS (applicant tracking system) can be a helpful tool here. Interview Intelligence can take the process a few notches up by automating and personalising candidate communication at every step of the process while making it all as simple as a click of a button for the stakeholders involved. Since it has recording and transcribing features, it helps availability of transparent facts in case of any litigious matters. It can also automate most of the below approaches

Establish Clear Processes and responsibilities - Develop standardised communication processes that outline the steps and timelines for rejection communication. For example, as a standard process, mandate it for hiring managers to give concrete feedback on rejected candidates as well and for the recruiters to convey it to the candidates.

Assign Dedicated Personnel - While this may not be feasible for most but if resources allow it, then designate specific individuals or a team responsible for managing rejection communication. This ensures that someone is accountable for timely and consistent communication with candidates.

Conduct Periodic Audits - Regularly review and evaluate your rejection communication processes to identify any potential gaps or areas for improvement. This can involve assessing response times, monitoring communication logs, and seeking feedback from candidates about their experience.

Train and Educate Recruiters - Provide training to recruiters and hiring managers on the importance of rejection communication and how to effectively deliver rejections with empathy and professionalism. Emphasise the significance of maintaining a positive candidate experience.

Apart from the above, it is also important to:

Final thoughts

The failure of employers to effectively communicate results to candidates can be due to reasons like time constraints, lack of standardised processes, decisions being stuck and many more. Possibilities. Does that make it okay to make the candidates wait?

While the reasons may vary, the consequences remain consistent: candidates experience frustration, uncertainty, and a negative impression of the employer's professionalism and commitment to transparency. To mitigate this issue, employers should prioritise timely and transparent communication, establish clear communication protocols, and leverage technology to streamline the process. 

By treating candidates with respect and providing them with closure, employers can enhance their reputation, improve the candidate experience, and ultimately attract top talent. Effective communication throughout the hiring process is not only a reflection of the employer's values but also an essential aspect of fostering a positive employer-candidate relationship.

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