• Career Advice

How to Manage Unsuccessful an Internal Applicant for a Role

If you have recently interviewed an internal applicant for a role in your company and they did not get the job, then you will probably be dreading telling them. However, the way you approach this conversation is likely to have a profound effect on the way they see themselves in the business and the way they communicate these feelings to others both inside and outside the organisation. Take a look at some of the most effective ways to manage the process so that you feel confident the next time you need to support an unsuccessful internal applicant.

Always Provide the Personal Touch

Possibly the most important part of managing internal applicant is by being upfront and honest. Delivering the news in person is the ideal way of managing the message that is conveyed, but if this is not possible, then a phone call is the next best step. If you use an online system for applicant tracking, remember to organise this conversation before they are updated by the technology.

When you are arranging your recruitment process, it is vital that you include the time required to inform internal applicant about their progress so that it is not rushed or treated as an afterthought. Ultimately, your priority needs to show them that they are valued and that you want them to succeed even if they have not been successful this time.

Be Ready to Explain Why

It may be tempting to try to rush the conversation, but the most important part of turning down an internal applicant is telling them why. Do not over complicate this process or spend a lot of time justifying your decision. Instead, share your reasoning and back it up with feedback where needed.

It is also essential that you do not give someone false hope or misleading information that makes them feel that they have been the best candidate. Instead, offer direct and sincere reasons that will help them to progress and move forward.

When you start the conversation, lead with the news rather than keeping them guessing. Tell them it’s not good news but that you appreciate the time and effort they put into applying and that on the day, there was someone better suited for the role. Rather than making them sit through a long conversation at this point, arrange a follow up meeting within the next seven days to provide them with an opportunity to ask questions and get further guidance on what they can do next.

Arrange Ongoing Guidance After the Dust Settles

One of the key parts of managing this type of situation is not to let an employee feel discouraged for too long as this can lead to toxicity and unhappy working. Instead, take the time to arrange meetings with relevant people, such as managers and HR, to help them consider other opportunities for development.

There are many great systems that you can use for this, including shadowing opportunities, mentoring, specific projects or short-term assignment. Whatever you do offer needs to be beneficial to both the internal applicant and the business and should never appear to be a payoff for them being unsuccessful at interview.

Accept That There May Be Some Unrest

Whether we like it or not, there will always be a period of time that is uncomfortable and difficult after you have told an internal applicant that they did not get the job and this will affect you, them and others who were hopeful that the person would be appointed.

By taking an open, honest and supportive approach, you should be able to mitigate most of the unrest it causes, especially if you show sincerity when discussing the outcome with a candidate. Remember that for many people, disappointment is the catalyst needed for growth and providing your internal applicant with opportunities to develop will help them to channel their disappointment into something more successful.

If you are keen to get more help and advice about recruitment processes and supporting internal candidates, then why not contact us here at Xplore? We have a team of recruitment experts that are on hand to offer you the advice and support you need so that your internal candidates can apply for vacancies safe in the knowledge that they will get the support and advice needed when the result is not what they hoped for. Call us today!

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