Home > Uncategorized > Why was my application rejected?

Why was my application rejected?

Recently one of my candidates was rejected by a client on the basis of his CV and a case study he was asked to work on to showcase his abilities. I called the candidate to inform him of this and he took it very badly – suggesting that I had wasted his time and that I hadn’t even bothered to pass his application on to my client. After a while he calmed down a bit and asked me for concrete reasons for the rejection and for copies of all other candidates’ case studies. His logic was that this would all help him improve himself and increase the chance of him performing better in future application processes with other companies. Needless to say, I refused to pass on the other case studies and also was not in a position to explain why he was rejected. This again set him off into a tirade.

Whilst this was a very extreme situation, it serves as a good example to highlight the position recruitment consultants find themselves on a regular basis. The fact of the matter is that unfortunately, for every candidate we place with a client, we have to reject several along the way – sometimes at the very last stage of the recruitment process. When this happens we always inform candidates that they have been rejected, but are not always in a position to tell them why.

It would help if candidates fully understood the relationships involved in recruiting on behalf of a company. The recruiting company is the consultant’s client – not the candidate. Whilst this sounds unfair, candidates must realise that it is not they who are paying the consultant’s fees, but the hiring company. Companies may reject candidates for any number of reasons – because they’re not the right fit with the organisation, because they might be too brash, because they might be over qualified or quite simply because they’re not good enough. After rejecting candidates, it is very rare that companies want to reveal their reasons for the rejection – which means that the consultant cannot do so on their behalf.

From the candidate’s point of view, this doesn’t come across very well. They are usually very interested to find out why they were rejected to a) be given the opportunity to counter any objections and b) to improve themselves. Whilst recruitment consultants fully understand the candidate’s reasoning, they are usually not in a position to help. Therefore, my advice to candidates in this situation is to try not to take these situations personally. Handling rejection in a professional manner will increase your chance of being approached by the same consultant for other, perhaps more suitable, roles.

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