When candidates find out they didn’t get the job, some want to know why. Should you answer, or just keep quiet?
Well, some recruiters answer, and some don’t. What are the benefits of giving feedback to unsuccessful job seekers? Not much, other than the fact that you might look like a jerk if you don’t answer. And of course, you might want to help someone’s job search by giving constructive criticism.
But here are some of the problems of responding:
- Some candidates ask for your reasons just so they can try to convince you you’re wrong.
- The real reasons can be hard to articulate. It’s easy if the answer is, “You don’t have enough experience in [blank],” but not so much if it came down to something vague like cultural fit.
- And, of course, there’s always liability to take into account. If the reason you give strays slightly from the truth, the candidate might try to claim you’re lying and the real reason was race, gender, etc.
So, should you say anything when a candidate asks why you hired someone else? There’s no easy answer. If you tell them anything, it might be a good idea to do it through e-mail so you don’t get trapped in an unending conversation about why you’re wrong.
We’d like to hear about what you do in these situations. Let us know in the comments section.