We regret to inform you…
…that we’d be hard pushed to find someone who’s never received a rejection letter or email before. Sadly, we also see an extortionate amount of people who never heard back at all. Applying for jobs is a laborious task, especially if you’re quite the pro at it and tailor each application to the role / employer each time. Applicants, whether they’re successful or not, deserve your time. Taking a little extra care over how you decline a candidate, from application to interview, is important not only to improve the quality of applications out there, but to leave a lasting and positive impression of your school.
Following these top tips will go a long way towards making rejection a somewhat positive (or at least helpful) experience for candidates, and might just help your hiring process out in the future:
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How to reject a candidate… the right way
Respond quickly… preferably within the first two weeks. In a fast-moving, competitive market such as teaching, a quick response is somewhat expected. Usually, if a candidate hasn’t received a phone call or email inviting them to interview within the first few weeks after applying, they’re assuming the worst.
Send a response, even if it is a ‘no’… of course when we say no, we mean a polite rejection letter. Nobody likes to be left in the dark. Not to mention it leaves a bad impression and a poor recruitment experience that candidates will remember. Take the time to give a valid reason and some feedback. It doesn’t have to be an essay, just a few sentences explaining why they’re not successful – this time!
Keep your Recruiting Pipeline up to date… sending rejection emails out through your Client Portal gives your team members visibility of when a candidate has received feedback and saves them being contacted twice with bad news… or worse, not at all! Managing your applicants (whether they’re a yes or a no) all in one place leads to cooperative and efficient recruitment.
What goes around comes around… if you provide a positive experience this time around, they may want to apply again in the future – when they’re potentially a better fit after taking on your previous feedback. That’s some good karma right there. If you think they would be a good fit for your school (or another within your group or trust) but not for this role, invite them to join your Talent Pool – if they haven’t already – so you can keep them on file for that future role.
Be honest… don’t go to town with the red (or green) pen on their CV – however tempting that is for a teacher – but provide some valuable, constructive feedback that they can action. If it’s more experience they need, tell them and point them in the right direction on where to find it. You’re an educator, right? So, teach! Pass on your pearls of wisdom to the next generation of teachers coming up the ranks.
Don’t keep them waiting for an interview… if you want them – go and claim them! Top teaching talent is notoriously snapped up before you can say summer holidays. A long wait between an interview and an offer letter can mean that ideal candidate slipping through your fingers.
Make your process clear from the off… If your hiring process includes a phone call, online interview, a guided tour, a panel interview, a group discussion, a 30-minute lesson, a talent show and a trapeze act, let the applicant know well in advance. Keep them informed of dates and times and what’s expected of them at each step. Give them ample time to prepare and plan. There’s nothing worse than feeling flustered before an interview. Don’t forget to include the interview link in the email too!
Did you know you can schedule online interviews direct from your Client Portal with an Eteach Premium licence? Find out more here.
Treat others how you wish to be treated… we’ve all been there and let’s be honest, it’s horrible. The interview experience doesn’t have to be though. When drafting that nice rejection email, put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. What would you like to know? What do you wish someone had told you in the past? A little goes a long way when it comes to how to decline an interview; applying for jobs doesn’t have to be a daunting experience when those in charge of recruitment know how to do it the right way.
Besides, if they’re a savvy applicant, you’ll be receiving a phone call requesting feedback in a weeks’ time – so make the call yourself.
How to decline an interview
If your school doesn’t have a specific policy on wording or a template to reject an applicant, use this interview rejection email as a starting point. Easy to use and adaptable templates can also be found in your Client Portal.
Thank you for applying for the vacancy [JOBTITLE]. The response to the vacancy posting was unprecedented, and on this occasion, we regret to inform you that we chose to proceed to the next stage with candidates who were felt to be a closer fit for the requirements of this vacancy.
[Insert your personalised feedback here.]
However, we feel you have a strong CV and would like to have you in our Talent Pool so that we can make you aware of future vacancies. Please note that, in the instance that we are part of a group or trust, by joining our Talent Pool your CV will be accessible to all schools and colleges that fall within the group or trust.
If you’d like to join our Talent Pool, you can do so here:
We'd like to thank you for your time in applying and wish you the best of luck with your career.
Go to Client Portal
About the author
After completing a BA in Creative Writing and a Masters in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester, Tammy worked as a Learning Support Assistant, with a focus on helping students develop their literacy skills. She then taught as an English teacher at an all-boys comprehensive school in Berkshire. Tammy now works for Eteach as Content, Brand and PR Manager, where she can combine her passion for education and writing.