How to Turn Down Finance or Accounting Candidates the Right Way


To create a positive candidate experience and foster a healthy talent pipeline it’s important to reject finance or accounting job candidates with grace and class. After all, while a certain individual may not be a fit for a specific role, there’s no telling when you’ll have to hire an additional resource. Show your prospective employees that they have value even before they join the fold. Doing so, can pay dividends down the road.

Why It Matters
A candidate who has a positive experience with your talent pipeline will likely:

  • Recommend your organization to friends/colleagues (as a place to work)
  • Consider a job offer from you in the future
  • Become a customer or promoter of your brand

And with the powerful reach of social media to consider, turning candidates down the right way is even more important.

Watch: Are you sabotaging your hiring process by making this one critical mistake? Watch this short video to find out.

Quick Communication
Have you ever been left hanging, waiting for a reply or wondering if you got a role? Candidates value quick communication, so waiting weeks to send a rejection letter or email is not advisable. As soon as possible let the candidate know that they’re not a fit.

Pro Tip: It’s fine to use an email template, but adding a personal note to a rejection email improves your chances of leaving a good impression. 

Reach Out by Phone
While you can’t personally call every rejected candidate, those who make it to the interview stage are definitely worth reaching out to. Remember, you’re going to need to hire again, and calling someone personally helps to build the relationship. 

Direct Feedback
A candidate may ask why they did not get the role, or ask for feedback on their interview skills. If possible be honest. The candidate will remember that you took the time to try and help them.

Pro Tip: Use a scorecard during the interview that allows you to objectively compare candidates across a number of hard and soft skills. This will help you give specific feedback during any debriefing.

Be transparent about your hiring process and timelines. Make sure that candidates who have reached the interview stage have your contact information. If your timeline changes, be sure to reach out and let them know.

Read: Are you concerned about how you hire? Here are 3 signs that your hiring process needs a makeover.

Ask for Feedback
Ask for feedback on your candidate experience. Let candidates know they can offer feedback anonymously if they prefer. If you see a negative trend in your candidate experience seek to correct it quickly.

Staying in Touch
Candidates who made a strong impression should be encouraged to stay in touch. Some options include:

  • Actively engaging with them on social media. Congratulate them on achievements, or “like” a post that they’ve shared.
  • If you’re hosting a career event with guest speakers reach out and invite them to attend
  • Occasionally send an email touching base about what’s happening at your organization to keep your firm front of mind – set up reminders in your Application Tracking System (if you use one)

Key Takeaways
Effective communication during the rejection process is critical in creating a positive candidate experience. Keep your hiring process transparent and don’t wait weeks to send a rejection letter/email. If the candidate asks for feedback, and it’s possible to be honest, let them know where the gaps were. Candidates appreciate advice, particularly if it’s genuine, and it will increase the likelihood of them being open to future opportunities with your organization. Continue to connect with those candidates who might be suitable for future opportunities and ask for feedback from all prospective employees so that you can re-work your rejection process if needed. Fundamentally, turning someone down for an accounting or finance role the right way is good for your brand, and will help you locate quality staff more quickly the next time you hire.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.

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