Maybe you’ve heard of the commonly cited word problem made popular in the psychology and behavioral economics field by Nobel prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman and his late colleague Amos Tversky. It goes like this:

Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations.

Which is more probable?

   a. Linda is a bank teller.

   b. Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement. [1]

The obvious answer is B, right? Based on that 3 sentence description, it’s pretty likely that Linda is active in the feminist movement. Heck, she’s probably a vegan, too! Am I right?

No.

I’m actually very wrong.

Let’s do the math real quick. How many people are bank tellers? Let’s represent that number of people with the variable x. Now, of that group of people who are bank tellers, how many are also active in the feminist movement? Well, since this group must meet both the conditions (feminist and bank teller), we know that it is a subset of x. With that in mind, clearly it is more likely that Linda is a bank teller than it is that Linda is a bank teller and some other thing. But, the feminist narrative fits her so well. Our unconscious biases take one look at her description as a social justice warrior and become vulnerable to the presumption that she, like so many of the people we know with similar descriptions, is an active feminist. 

This is an example of the conjunction fallacy. And if you were one of the people who was saying B was the correct answer, you’re in the majority. In one study, 85% of respondents said B, even though it is quite literally impossible for B to be more likely. [2]

Hiring is so broken

So? What gives? What’s at play here? And how does it relate to hiring?

Well, that story you just told yourself about Linda. It’s the same kind of story that’s keeping you from finding the right person to fill your open jobs.

Let’s say you are hiring for a Sales Rep. At some point in time, you’ve collected a stack of resumes. You look over the first few and start a Yes pile, a Maybe pile, and upon reading the third resume, you decide to start a No pile… in the trash. What was wrong with the third resume? Well, there was this gap in it. And usually when there’s a gap in a resume, it means the person did something bad that kept them out of work for a while.

I hear this “gap” story all of the time. There are hundred of other stories as well, ones that land your target candidate in the trash instead of at your doorstep. The problem with these “stories” is that they force us into thinking that what might be true must  be true. Heck, if we didn’t have some short cut for sifting through resumes, we’d be reading them for hours! But when it comes to a talent market that is already so tight, can you really afford to throw away someone with a gap in their resume without first confirming why there was a gap? Not to mention, if you had to defend your hiring process to a group of your peers, do you really think that focusing on “gaps” rather than focusing on sales skills, behaviors, and motivators would pass the eye test? The fact of the matter is, the biases that are inherent in resume reading give you about a 50% of failing the hiring process before you even pick up the phone and call someone for the first time. [3]

Now this might be the point in this article where you’re saying to yourself, “Okay, I get it. A lot of people are biased. The resume isn’t perfect. But I am certainly not as biased as most people.”

I’d like to introduce you to another form of bias called “the bias blind spot.” According to a Princeton University study, in a sample of 600 Americans, only 1 person considered herself more biased than the average American. That’s right — only 0.2% of the population actually believes they are in the top 50 percentile of bias. 85% of people believed they were less biased than the average American. [4] That is to say, not only are we extremely biased, but we also tend to underestimate just how biased we are.

The reason that hiring is broken has much less to do with a skills gap and much more to do with the fact that humans are the ones in charge of doing the hiring. And humans, by their very nature, are fallible. But where humans have shown immense progress is when we recognize our own fallibility. Think about some of the most important inventions of the modern era — airplanes, computers, and sliced bread. None of these could have been invented if we didn’t first recognize that we were unable to compute complex algorithms quickly, we were unable to slice loaves evenly, and we were unable to grow wings and fly. When it comes to hiring, we need to stop trying to grow wings and start building the darn airplane.

Where do we start?

At NewHire, we believe that every time you recruit, you follow a six step process. Those six steps start with Preparing to Recruit. This means sitting down and ironing out the profile of your target candidate. Who are they reporting to? What challenges will they face? What behaviors and motivations are going to be significant in reporting to that person and facing those challenges? What are the specific skills necessary for success? If you aren’t answering these questions before you start looking for candidates, then when it comes time to make decisions, you are bound to be comparing candidates against one another rather than comparing them against the ideal. Figure out what your ideal candidate acts like, and then hold yourself accountable to finding that person.

There are a handful of great methods out there for sourcing candidates. If you’re not an expert at this, there is help everywhere you look. So ask around (heck, ask me) and you should find what you need. [5] This is the piece of the recruiting process that has advanced a lot since the days of “Help Wanted” signs in the window. The next piece of the airplane that we need to build is the screening method. This is crucial. Instead of using resumes as your screening agent and inviting all of that bias into the process before you ever get kicked off, I think it makes sense to use a short questionnaire. Some multiple choice and short answer questions that are aimed at getting the right person to answer questions that prove they’re the right person. If you keep this questionnaire short, candidates will appreciate the opportunity to prove they’re right for the job. This will change everything. Now, instead of finding reasons not to call someone, you’re going to be finding reasons why you should call people. They have the years of experience. They have skills x, y, and z. They prefer to work autonomously rather than being closely managed.  And if you have it set up right, you’ll be able to search your results based on the answers to these questions, making your Yes, No, and Maybe piles automated, saving you tons of time.

If you do these two things, your hiring is guaranteed to improve immediately. Not to mention, you might actually start to enjoy the process. The final piece of the pie is the interview stage — which would require another 1200 words. Maybe next time…

Interested in learning how to attract those top candidates? Check out our guide for Crafting Effective Recruitment Advertising. It’s a great way to ensure that your talent pipeline stays full of qualified candidates in an increasingly competitive market. 

Indeed is one of the largest aggregators of jobs in the world, and if your job isn’t there, you’re losing a ton of visibility. When someone Googles “entry level jobs in Chicago,”  you can bet that Indeed is one of the first sites to show in the results. So when a candidate goes to click on that site, it’s important that your job stands out on the first few pages as they start their job search. As an agency partner of Indeed, we have learned the ins and outs of what really makes a job shine and how to increase visibility and clicks over the competition.

Make your Indeed Ads Glow in the Dark

Here are a few tips and guidelines for Indeed and the rest of your advertising to help your job stand out from the rest.

Job Titles

There are a lot of things to consider in choosing your job title for Indeed. Probably one of the easiest things you can do is take the title you are considering, type it into their search engine with the location and see what appears. You will see immediately how other companies are using the same job title, or what other job titles are more popular for you to consider that fit your job description.

Do:

Sales Representative

OR

Include an industry to be more descriptive

Sales Representative – Insurance

Don’t:

Sales Representatives needed at top notch company!!!

OR

Sales Representative/Insurance

Sales Representative-Insurance

Salary

Research and surveys conducted on job seekers show that either their first or second priority in choosing a company to work for is compensation (right before or after work culture). Because of this, it is crucial that you include compensation in your recruitment advertisement. If you are not sure what the exact compensation is, it is okay to include a range,so long as that range isn’t too wide. If it is a sales role, you can list potential first year on target earnings, but be realistic.

When listing the salary, make sure to include spaces between your dashes, slashes, and symbols alike.

Do:  

$50,000 – $55,000

$11 / Hour

Don’t:

$50,000 -$55,000

$50,000-$55,000

$11/Hour

Why? If you post any of the “don’ts,” it may feed into the Indeed system improperly, causing your job to display incorrect or incomplete salary information. For best practices stick to the “do’s” format listed above.

Reader Friendliness

No one likes to read a wall of text. To make your ad stand out amongst the rest, make sure your ad is reader-friendly. Bold your job title and your company name to make them stand out so the candidate knows who they are applying to and what job. Use headers to separate your sections of topics such as compensation, duties, and requirements. You can use bullet points to to elaborate and outline the aspects of the job, but don’t get too detailed as you want the candidate to complete your application by answering your customized screening questions they will need to read as well.

Do:

SAMPLE COMPANY seeks a JOB TITLE to ……

Add more information below regarding the company culture, employee value proposition, and some details about what the company is looking for in the ideal candidate.

To the JOB TITLE we offer:

  • Compensation & benefits

Duties & Responsibilities of the JOB TITLE:

  • Here you can add a few key job duties (we recommend no more than 6)

Requirements of the JOB TITLE:

  • Here you can add a few key job requirements (we recommend no more than 6-8)
  • This can include years experience, degree, software needs, travel, etc.

Tip: The bottom of your ad is a great place to add that you are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Location

On our applications, we have one slot for putting in a location. As with most standard locations, you enter a city, state and zip code. It is important for this piece of information to be either true for your position, or to be listed in a proper format. You cannot list multiple cities in one box for the same state, and you should only include a slash when appropriate. Job seekers will often type in the location in which they live or are moving, so having the location correct is important.

Do:

Dallas, TX

Dallas / Fort Worth, TX

Don’t:

Dalas, TX

Dallas / Ft. Worth, TX

Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, TX

Trend Reporting:

Check on your job! If you are worried about getting candidates before you advertise, ask a NewHire staff member for suggestions on your job title or ad and get some expert advice. It is also worthwhile to go on Indeed and type in the job title you are thinking of using and your location to see what competitors are using for their job titles. You can also visit this link to compare jobs on a variety of industry trend reports to see what titles, locations, and keywords are working best.

After you have advertised, NewHire can pull your analytics to see how many views and applies you have received from Indeed. We can also work with Indeed to get you a customized report to discover what keywords candidates used to find your job(s), and what locations (if you used multiple) performed best for your position(s).
Hiring is always a tad easier when you’re proactive by putting out the best written, formatted, and optimized recruitment job advertisement possible. If you keep these tips in mind and ensure that your ad is looking and performing well on Indeed, it’s safe to assume that you will draw applicants for any additional job boards as well.

 

broadcastWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of participating as a panelist in The Alternative Board’s Prosperity Series, an ongoing series of events aimed at assisting small to mid-size businesses. This panel’s subject focused on what companies can do to find candidates in the digital age.

To see a written summary of the topics covered, please visit here Steve Davies’ blog here. If there is anything that you have questions on or would have interest in speaking to me or anyone at NewHire about, please reach out (877-923-0054). Here are a few photos of the panel and networking event:

 

The Alternative Board’s Prosperity Series - Finding Candidates

The Alternative Board’s Prosperity Series - Finding Candidates

 

 

Back to the Future of Recruiting

“Your kids, Marty. Something has got to be done about your kids!”

Doc Brown had a point when he took Marty to the year 2015. Something had to be done about us, residents of the year 2015. And although Doctor Emmett Brown may not have been the strongest recruiting mind of our time, I must give credit where credit is due.

Imagine you are in the year 1985 searching for a job. You are laboring over the typewriter to craft a perfect resume, knowing that you will probably have to drive around in search of “Help wanted” signs in the windows, drop a copy of that perfect resume off, and sit anxiously by the phone awaiting a call. There is no email. There is no internet. There is facsimile. Oh the glorious fax machine, invented over 20 years ago and beyond reproach — the greatest technological advancement since the telegraph.

And then, lo and behold, in the middle of your job search a disgraced nuclear physicist who you may have hung out with a time or two comes by the house with a piece of equipment a million times more advanced than your precious facsimile device. In a time machine, the two of you travel forward in time to the year 2015. Not only are their hoverboards and self-driving cars, but there is a magic box with keys and a screen that allows you to connect with anyone in the world with the click of a button. These “computers” not only have the power to communicate across thousands and thousands of miles, but they also allow a user to input, store, process, and output information in fractions of a second.

These machines have become the center of the universe. People everywhere in the futuristic 2015 world are staring at miniature computation devices meant for phone calling, communicating via electronic mail or text message, and playing games. Walking aimlessly on and off sidewalks into the and out of the danger of traffic, so engrossed in these devices that they are relatively unaware of the physical world around them, the humans operating these miniature computers need no location. Humans can be truly present without being physically present.

But alas, you can’t just exist in the year 2015. In order to stay, you’ll need money. And due to astronomical rate of inflation, the old Nickel and Dime stores have become — what is that? — A DOLLAR? Great Scott! That pocket change from the year 1985 will be of no use around here.

A job. You need a job.

But, this is going to be disastrous. The people of the year 2015 must find jobs in a way that has advanced far beyond the old “send and pray resume” method. Given these “computers” and all of this “software,” someone must have found a way to attract, filter, and select talent seamlessly.

What then, will you do with your resume? It’s so bland. It’s so non-specific. It’s so… old.

Hold on. You sir, what’s that you’re doing? You’re just sending in your resume to that employer electronically? But, what about the softwares and the computation devices? They’re not being used to make the resume a thing of the past? People are still asking for you to fax in your resume?

Despite computers and software that give us the tools to match employers with specific candidates for employment that meet their criteria in the click of a button, almost everyone has taken this “send and pray resume” method and simply put it online?

Man, this is heavy. But, couldn’t you send out questionnaires with queries meant to narrow in on ideal criteria? And now that everyone has a device meant to communicate with anyone at any time, if my calculations are correct, these questionnaires could be available en masse via independent landing pages shared across the internet in certain hubs where job seekers hang out. This way, when looking for a job, a candidate can prove their worth to employers in terms that are mutually understood. Heck, this futuristic world could go beyond mere experience when deciding on whom to interview. You could develop methods to understand an employee’s behaviors, their motivations, and their very skills.

Recruiting is an essential business function. How could you, the hyperintelligent beings of the future, have left such an important piece of your lives in the hands of a mere resume? Something has got to be done. Dear employers of the great future, in 2016, I beg you to trust in the one page questionnaire and compare candidates against the same criteria. Rid the world of the resume. Unless… what are you? Chicken?

 

broadcastWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

 

Want to learn more about what type of recruitment advertisement performs best? Interested writing a more compelling ad for your open positions?                  Request our white paper here.

At NewHire, we like to keep an eye on where our candidates are coming from so that we can ensure our clients are getting the most ‘Bang for their Buck’ when they advertise.  In 2015 Indeed surged ahead of the pack, with ZipRecruiter close on their heels. CareerBuilder was the biggest loser of them all, with their average candidate views per job, tumbling.  Craigslist fared little better. And LinkedIn continued its trend of lack-luster performance.

For the majority of 2015, our advertising package featured postings on CareerBuilder, Craigslist, Indeed and LinkedIn.  The graph below shows the number of candidate Views Per Job from each of these sources.  As you can see from the graph, CareerBuilder and Craigslist performance have both been declining for several years.   They’ve gone from almost 200 views per job in 2010 to slightly over 20 views per job in 2015.  That’s a huge drop-off for the King Kong of the Recruiting Boards.  Craigslist, too, has seen quite the decline as more competition in their particular field has appeared.

Indeed, meanwhile, has maintained a healthy number of views per job. ZipRecruiter, our newest partner, demonstrated a robust start  for 2015, with 70 average referrals per job.  LinkedIn, meanwhile, has meandered along, and has not experienced any growth over the years. Recruitment ads also appear on many other smaller sites,  including our own NewHire job board. All of these smaller players are included in the category we call “Other” Together these smaller players represent an important source of candidate traffic.

Views Per Job Per Year

We also have some breakdowns of our applicants (the people who have successfully filled out a job application on our system) for the last several years, and can see where they were referred from.  That data, pictured below, shows a similar picture.

Applies Per Job Per Year

Our newest partner, Ziprecruiter, is the big winner.  For only being with us for six months, they’ve already proved a better choice than CareerBuilder, Craigslist or LinkedIn for bringing in candidates who turn into applicants.  Indeed also surged back up in 2015 after dipping in 2014.  As in the the Views graph above, the losers are CareerBuilder, Craigslist and LinkedIn.  All three of these boards have lost traction over the last few years.

This year, as in the past, these metrics have led us to make changes to the advertising options we offer our clients. As always, crafting a great recruitment advertisement will improve your candidate draw, but being on the right job boards is key. Look for details from the NewHire team about changes in the works to provide you with the best candidate sourcing strategies needed to address your recruiting needs.

broadcastWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

Eddie’s article first appeared on recruiter.com. Please find a link to that post here.

Isn’t it ironic that the people who think it’s their job to look at resumes (i.e., recruiters) try their hardest to not look at resumes?

It feels almost sacrilegious to start calling out resumes because of how dependent we are on them – employers and employees alike – but they’ve been an obstacle in the hiring process for too long.

An Ineffective Tool for a Complex Problem

The resume started as a basic solution to a complex question that employers didn’t even know they needed to ask: How do I hire the right person for the job?

Unfortunately, despite its ubiquity, the resume was never up to this task.

But I’m probably telling you something you already knew, or at least suspected. In fact, anyone who’s ever had to whittle down a pile of resumes has probably reached the point where they’ve realized that the whole process is somewhat broken. How are you really supposed to compare documents – and by extension, the qualifications of the candidates they represent – when those documents aren’t even standardized?

And that’s when the shortcuts come in: “Times New Roman?! Bye Felicia!” “Oxford commas? Better luck next time!”

Resumes are the worst

Suddenly, everyone has their own “system” based on preferences, snap judgements, and made-up narratives that they use to manage the resume-screening process.

We don’t create shortcuts because we’re bad, lazy, or incompetent people. We create them because we need to find meaning in the things we do. When there’s no meaning, we rebel. We find ways to minimize how much of our resources – time, energy, and attention – we commit to the task.

But if there’s meaning behind what we do, we become engaged in the process and we do it right. Doing the hiring process right means comparing candidates’ skill sets to the job’s duties. So if your system doesn’t start and end with this comparison, can you really say you have a functioning or meaningful hiring process?

Bad Hiring Process? Blame the Resumes (Really)

How often have you seen some variation of the stat, “recruiters spend 6-30 seconds reviewing a resume”? If you’re an employer and you’re entrusting someone to review resumes in the search for the most qualified candidates, this stat should blow your mind! I can’t even decide in 30 seconds if this bag of Doritos fits into my Low-Carb-Paleo-Zone diet (it doesn’t), but we believe that recruiters and hiring managers are accurately gauging candidates in that same timeframe (they aren’t).

We can’t blame individuals in the hiring process for this dereliction of duty, though. We’ve based a giant piece of our hiring process on the resume, so any inefficiencies or shortfalls that result from that flawed process should be accepted as inevitable. If I know my mechanic is tightening lug nuts with his bare hands instead of a wrench, I really can’t get mad when the wheel falls off my car. I knew they were using ineffective tools, so how could I expect anything other than ineffective results?

Resumes are the tool we’ve chosen to assist us in performing a function, but experience, the stats, and the anecdotes should make it clear that we’ve been using the wrong tool. It’s ineffective, and it’s giving us ineffective results.

That being said, resumes are not entirely pointless. In fact, they do have a place in the hiring process – just not at the start. The start of your hiring process is about matching qualified candidates to the job by comparing qualifications and skill sets, and you can’t do that consistently when you’re using resumes.

Do yourself and your company a favor by finally “killing” the resume. You’ll find the benefits of consistently bringing on the best people greatly outweigh the temporary adjustment to how you, your father, and your grandfather hired.

 

broadcastWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

Technology has drastically changed every aspect of recruiting in today’s job market.The social media revolution has bought many changes to the job search process of today. In the past the resume was the single focus for hiring managers in the recruiting process from the screening, to the phone interview, to the face to face interview.  Today social recruiting has become very prevalent among recruiters and human resource professionals alike.

LinkedIn and your resume both highlight you as a person and tell the world who you are but in very different ways. LinkedIn is used for multiple purposes but a resume can be used for one single purpose. So let’s examine how LinkedIn can be used more effectively in a job search over a resume.

Linkedin v resumes

Broader Audience for Your LinkedIn Profile vs. Your Resume

A resume is distinctly used for people who are looking for a new job. Normally a candidate will submit a resume to apply for a job and chances are your resume may never be viewed by the hiring manager if you are not selected as a viable candidate for the open position. However, LinkedIn is used for multiple reasons such as job searching, networking, connecting with new contacts, publishing articles, posting information, sales people communicating with potential prospects, recruiters reaching out to passive candidates, gathering information from industry leaders and many other uses.

According to the Pew Research Center 25% of adults use LinkedIn which is 22% of the entire adult population. LinkedIn is the only major social media platform in which usage rates are highest among the age group of 30 – 49 years old. With this social media platform 32% of users are employed compared to 14% of users who are not employed.  Therefore, the reach of LinkedIn users are vastly greater than the number of people a job seeker will send a resume to and who may view your resume posted online. LinkedIn will give you greater exposure than a resume ever will.

Professional vs. Social

A resume is a formal document that is professionally written to highlight a person’s employment history and past accomplishments. Your resume is a simple text document that is tightly formatted to highlight STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) bulleted points. However, LinkedIn is considered a business social site which allows a person to highlight more than just your skills and work experience. This format is less formal and more personable. On LinkedIn a person may highlight their accomplishments and skills by including media links on both your profile and positions. A person might include a portfolio, a professional presentation, a PDF e-book, pictures, links and videos to highlight your talent and work product.

Past vs. Present

A resume is a one to two page document of your professional history, skills, experience and career highlights. A resume shows your job history and past accomplishments. By comparison a LinkedIn profile is a person’s present and future professional life.  A LinkedIn profile consists of many more sections such as your career summary, experience, education, skills & endorsements, recommendations, honors & awards, groups, volunteer work and more. Status updates are part of your profile and a person can update their profile daily which will organically grow your profile each time you add a new skill, a new job, receive an endorsement, share information, and engage in a discussion and other activities on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profile Builds Relationships and Continuously Grows

By using LinkedIn regularly you are able to build relationships with people through your daily interactions and discussions. LinkedIn allows you to connect with people in your industry of business and also connects you with group members who share the same interests or profession. A resume just sits on a desk or the inbox of a hiring professionals email. However, with your LinkedIn profile each time you post an update it is shared with all of your first-degree connections. These updates will put you in front of an audience repeatedly which is what candidates need when looking for a new career opportunity. Your status updates can now appear on your Twitter feed which is one more avenue for exposure when looking for a new job. In addition, to these updates you can include links to articles, videos, websites as well as pictures.

Recruiters and human resource professionals now practice using LinkedIn once they receive your resume and may be interested in pursuing you as a potential candidate. They venture onto the social site to gain more information about a candidate’s personality to determine if they would like to initiate a phone screen with you. Lastly, with LinkedIn a person can separate themselves from the competition better than using a resume. The LinkedIn profile will allow a person to demonstrate and articulate what value you can bring to an organization and why you can become a valuable addition to the team.

broadcastWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

This is a true story about a mid-sized manufacturing company in Oklahoma that needed some help finding the right person for their job…

 

For any company, recruiting can be a daunting task. From putting the ad together and advertising to managing a large pile of applications and resumes – the entire process can be a headache for business owners or hiring managers who don’t have the right tools in place before they start. Especially when you are stuck handling the process single handedly or on a small team, screening alone can dominate your time. Much of this is true for companies in the manufacturing industry – companies like Progressive Stamping, who reached out to NewHire.

When Dave Younge, President at Progressive Stamping, initially contacted NewHire, he expressed interest in establishing a recruiting process and getting assistance filling an Account Manager position.

“I wanted a person that would be a good fit to our organization’s culture.  I did not want a person who had great skills and experience but was a poor person with whom to work.  I shared this concern with Sean Little (Account Manager) and asked how NewHire could make that happen.  He demonstrated the technology and explained how they could customize the application.” – Dave Younge – President of Progressive Stamping

He needed the framework to get started, and then he would be able to drive the hiring process forward on his own. With these things in mind, he purchased our NewHire Elements service.

Continue Reading…

Rejection is hard. No one likes to say no, and no one likes to be said no to. But when you have two to three great candidates, and only one job title to hire for in your company, unfortunately, you will have to deliver some bad news. There are a few things to think about before you speak with a candidate who isn’t moving forward.

Delivering bad news to candidates

First, understand why you need to follow up.

The farther a candidate goes into your process, the more interested they are in working for your company. They are investing more time and energy into landing a spot in your special role. If they are not the right fit, don’t lead them on or hang them out to dry. It is good to keep them in the loop, but also important to consider the timing of your response. If if you’re in the phone screening phase, and you know early on they won’t be a good fit, then deliver the news. By avoiding them or not following up altogether, you might be holding them back from other opportunities that they could be going after. However, if it is a candidate that has moved further along in the process, you should wait to deliver them a rejection until the other top candidate officially accepts. If the candidate does not accept, you will have another top candidate or candidates at the ready. Whereas if you were to reject all the other candidates right away and your pick does not accept, you will have to re-start the process.

Second, consider the method.

If you are turning down a candidate who had made it to the final stages of the process such as second interviews, you should call them. Let them know that you appreciated their time throughout the process and that it was a hard decision. If you would consider hiring them for another position in the future, let them know that they should apply for those opportunities if they really want to work at your company later on. If your candidates did not pass the phone interview or first interview, a general follow-up email would suffice to let them know you will not be pursuing their candidacy, but appreciate their interest and time.

Third, don’t feel so terrible.

Yes, telling a candidate that they aren’t moving forward certainly isn’t joyous, especially if you have met with them a few times and they are in your top two. But think of it this way – if they were so qualified to make it that far in your process – imagine how far they made it (or will make it) in some other company’s process. It is likely that the candidate you reject will accept an offer somewhere else, so you shouldn’t feel like you ruined all of their hopes and dreams. Think positive, and understand that the candidate you reject will probably find another opportunity that is better suited for them.

Lastly, business is business, but remember bad news shouldn’t leave a bad impression.

When you deliver a rejection, whether it be in person, via email, or over the phone, make sure to do it gently. While you want to make it clear that you won’t be moving them forward, you also don’t want to say it in a condescending or harsh way. Every interaction you have with a candidate is a chance to sell your Employee Value Proposition to the talent world. Leaving them feeling like their time was wasted or they were bad candidates will give them a bad impression of your company and how you treat people. This can lead to bad company reviews online or through word of mouth, so be sure to get your point across in a nice way. If a candidate presses you on why they are not moving forward, you can explain it was a difficult decision, competitive, and you had to consider every detail. Be very careful in your choice of words when delivering the news. You do not want to say anything that would put you or your company  in a situation where you risk being accused of discrimination. The best thing to do is to thank them for their time and wish them the best moving forward on their job search.

For most people, rejecting someone or taking rejection is just plain difficult, but it’s a necessary task. We can’t hire them all, and we certainly cannot take every rejection we deliver personally, because, in the end, you need the right person for the role, not just anyone. As NewHire puts it, “Every job deserves the right person!” and your job is no exception. You will have to reject some good candidates along the way in order to hire the right candidate. For more information on best practices for making employment offers, check out our webinar recording on Step 6 in the recruiting process: Hire ’em!