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RejectedWhy They Rejected The Best HR Candidate They’d Ever Interviewed — The Shocking Truth Revealed!

[A comment on this excellent article by ]


Thank you @Alan Collins for recalling a business interaction with a number of valuable lessons.  Though many comments have focused on omissions of the candidate Taylor in respect and kindness (true as they are), I would mostly laud the disclosure from Mary, the Chief HR Officer, which in my experience is rare.

In my 25+ years of agency recruiting what most often is missing when a candidate has invested considerable time and effort, then not extended an offer, is the smoke and fog encasing the reasons verbalized – if they are at all.

Much of the mismatch to begin with is the hiring authorities’ ability to rank candidate attributes to the desired business deliverables, leaving room for professional growth. There is not a good match when a candidate’s accomplishments meet all the check marks of a job description.  The next issue is when all the interviewers are not on the same priority page.

Assuming we do have the balance of need versus desired attributes in balance, countless times the judgment and exclusion starts with the judgment of a resume. The reason for rejection here could rarely be found on a resume, and was later missed by everyone but the last interviewer.

The point I wish to make is that the REAL reason for rejection surfaced in the end and was shared with all parties.  Unless there were a hidden agenda, an illegal reason or protected class violated, a hiring company owes an honest answer in every situation – no matter how emotionally difficult to craft.

The worst violation is no substantial feedback, followed closely with one that could have been established by resume content , then next by one that was made up to mask the real reason.  In the adage that a customer tells 4 people when they are happy with a service and 12 when they are unhappy is measurable collateral damage to the company in the staffing marketplace.  One that is made up reflects the insecurity of the messenger and a flaw in the corporate culture.  Communication style, culture fit, risk tolerance, curiosity, and other human traits follow in the latter rejection reason and are just as valid as a specific technical or functional skill validated on a resume or phone screen.

One definition of a humble is a person (or company) knows themselves well and honest about their attributes and flaws.  An organization understanding this in honestly screening other people and communicating in the same way is a great culture to join.

The much larger disrespect is not doing the extra work in communicating honestly to every candidate through their cycle, as an integral part of the staffing process.

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