Positive online reviews are something that many successful brands share in common. Keeping a stellar reputation in the construction industry is crucial. As construction recruiters, we like to remind business owners that your customers aren’t the only people who like to talk about their experience with your company. Prospective employees are also having conversations and will not hesitate to spread negative feedback if they feel disrespected. Focus on treating all candidates with respect even when you don’t offer them a job. Let’s review some ways to assure that candidates leave your office on good terms. Here’s how to treat the candidates you don’t hire.

Leave a Positive Impression

It’s easy for hiring managers to lose sight of kindness and remain “all business” during the hiring process. Remember, candidates are judging you and your hiring process every step of the way. Show them goodwill from the first phone screen until they leave your office so that everyone you meet wants the job. An inefficient hiring process can also be detrimental to your reputation. Respect everyone’s time, compliment their background, and express your gratitude for getting the chance to interview them. Companies that fail to treat people well are more likely to suffer the consequences down the road when job seekers share their negative experience online or with others in the industry.

Follow Up Quickly

Some candidates handle rejection better than others. There’s plenty of emotion involved even at the professional level. It’s important to deliver rejections kindly and personally. Reach out to everyone quickly and thank them for interviewing. Have some standardized letters or emails prepared in advance. If it’s someone you may want to talk to in the future, let them know that by saying something like: “We were impressed with your background. If another position opens up, we’d like the opportunity to reach out to you about a construction estimator job.”

Provide Some Explanation for Rejection

It’s nothing personal, just business. Show them the appropriate level of respect based on how far along they were in the interview process. Good construction leaders know when it’s appropriate to reach out to candidates personally by phone. It’s important to give them some idea of the reason. They may be a better fit for another position, in which case you could say something like: “You would be a better fit in this other area of our company and we don’t have anything open in that area but we may in the future.”

Treating candidates like they are just a warm body in a chair will give you a bad name. Overcoming a tarnished reputation is much harder than keeping a good one. Plus, there’s no reason to burn bridges with candidates that might have the talent that you want in the future. It’s important to go the distance and treat all candidates with kindness and respect, even the ones you don’t hire. In addition to maintaining a positive company image, it’s also a small world, and you never know when your paths may cross again.


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