Treat Awful Candidates Like Rockstars

Recruitment, as I’ve said previously, is probably the most important job that managers at any level have on their teams. Bringing in high calibre team members not only improves the quality of your products but it will lift morale and no doubt help push your company forward to where ever you are planning for it to be.

To get those high calibre team members you need to sniff them out from the ‘not so’ high calibre ones; but you need to treat everyone exactly the same until you finally decide on a colleague.


Rejecting candidates is never easy.

No matter how hard you may try to like someone or give them a chance you just have that hunch that they may not be right for the company so you carefully cast them a drift… hoping they find their merry way to another place of work and maybe back into your arms after a few years of experience or exposure to whatever it is they need.

The main issue most recruiting managers will have is that their pool of candidates is so small that everyone is fighting for the true rockstars.

So why be nice to those that you reject?

Because they talk to people. Nothing will make your job harder than a rejected candidate bad mouthing your company or process to one of his colleagues.

That colleague then tells another… and another… and another.

See where this is going?

Suddenly you have candidates who may be totally suitable for your company completely put off by things they have heard. So how do you let people down with grace and a little bit of gravitas so that they speak highly of your process and recommend someone?

Always Give Feedback

There is nothing wrong with not liking a candidate… but you need to give good and to the point feedback about exactly why they weren’t successful. Most candidates, if it went really badly, will more than likely know straight away. Others may get mixed messages; make sure that they know exactly why they haven’t progressed.

Be Quick To Decide

Letting candidates linger for days (or even worse weeks) until they hear a decision from you is just straight up rude. Once you have made the decision let them know quickly as they may have you as #1 on their list and would reject other offers for you. That’s not cool.

At the end of the day every single candidate that goes through your process should be treated like they are ‘the one’ until they aren’t. 10-15 extra minutes talking to a candidate you know is definitely not the right fit might pay off dividends if they talk up your company and process to someone who is.

So to summarise; be nice.