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The Importance of Giving Feedback to Unsuccessful Job Applicants

In the current job market, the competition for open positions can be fierce. Employers are often inundated with applications, forcing them to make difficult choices about which candidates to move forward with. While the lucky few who land the job may be elated, there is often a much larger pool of applicants who are left disappointed after being passed over.

As an employer, it can be tempting to simply send a generic rejection email and move on to the next batch of applications. However, this approach does a disservice not only to the applicants, but to your company as well. Providing meaningful feedback to unsuccessful candidates is a critical part of the hiring process that should not be overlooked.

Here’s why giving feedback to job applicants matters:

1. It’s the right thing to do.

Job searching can be an incredibly demoralising experience, with applicants often putting in hours of work on cover letters and resumes, only to be met with radio silence. Receiving a thoughtful explanation for why they weren’t selected can go a long way in softening the blow and helping them to feel that their efforts were not in vain.

Offering feedback shows that you value the time and effort applicants have put into pursuing the role, and that you’re willing to take the time to provide them with constructive guidance. This small gesture of consideration can make a big difference in how unsuccessful applicants view your company, and may even inspire them to apply for future openings.

2. It helps build your employer brand.

In today’s digital age, word of mouth travels fast. Applicants who have had a positive experience with your company, even if they didn’t get the job, are more likely to speak favourably about you to their network. This can help bolster your employer brand and make your company an attractive option for future candidates.

Conversely, applicants who feel they were treated unfairly or disrespected during the hiring process are likely to share their negative experiences online, which can damage your reputation and make it harder to attract top talent. By providing thoughtful feedback, you’re demonstrating that your company values transparency and cares about the wellbeing of all applicants, even those who don’t end up getting hired.

3. It can improve the quality of future applications.

When you take the time to explain why a candidate was not selected, you’re providing them with valuable insights that they can use to improve their job search strategy going forward. Perhaps their resume lacked relevant experience, or their interview skills could use some polishing. Armed with this feedback, applicants can make adjustments to better position themselves for success in future opportunities.

This not only benefits the individual applicant, but it can also improve the overall quality of applications you receive for future openings. Applicants who have received constructive feedback are more likely to tailor their materials and better prepare for interviews, making your job as a hiring manager that much easier.

4. It can enhance your company’s culture.

A commitment to providing feedback to unsuccessful applicants signals that your company values transparency, empathy, and a sense of community. This can have a positive ripple effect on your internal culture, as employees see that the organisation they work for is one that prioritises clear communication and a caring approach, even in difficult situations.

When your team members witness this level of attention and consideration being extended to external candidates, it can inspire them to adopt a similar mindset in their own work. This can foster a more collaborative, supportive, and engaged workplace culture, which in turn can lead to higher employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.


In conclusion, the practice of providing feedback to unsuccessful job applicants should be viewed as an essential part of the hiring process, not an optional extra. By taking the time to offer thoughtful and constructive feedback, you’re not only doing the right thing for the applicants, but you’re also investing in the long-term success and reputation of your company. In a highly competitive job market, this small but impactful gesture can make all the difference.

Feel free to get in contact for more information. Call us now on 01905 783352.





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