successfully-reject-candidates

The Importance of Successfully Rejecting Candidates

Based on data from over 300 000 candidates

At the moment, we know that 23% of candidates never received a rejection. Is this a number that we just should look past and ignore? No definitely not. It is time reject candidates, now!

How does not rejecting candidates really affect your candidate experience and employer brand?

That is a question that we will answer in this article. By analyzing feedback from over 300 000 candidates we have found data that lays behind the decision to reject (or not), as well as how it affects your candidate experience and your employer brand. Besides that, you will also get our 3 best tips on how to improve and secure the rejection of all candidates.

Measuring Candidate Experience

The most common measurement of the candidate experience is the Candidate Net Promoter Score (CNPS). CNPS is based on asking your candidates a simple question: “How likely are you to recommend Company X to a friend or colleague?”.

Candidates answer this question on a scale of 0-10 and get divided into three categories: Detractors, Passives, and Promoters, depending on their answer. Of course, the goal for all organizations should be to turn the candidates into promoters which is why you strive against a high CNPS.

Wanna learn more about CNPS, read our Ultimate Guide about it.

In order for the measurements to be comparable, the collection of data relies on some core principles.

All candidates:
  • are given the option to submit feedback
  • gets the same information
  • gets the same questions with the same wording
  • gets the exact same visual forms
  • the research-based CNPS question is first in the form and on a scale from 0-10.

By measuring in accordance with these core principles, the data from different organizations can be analyzed and compared in order to calculate different averages and see potential patterns.

The Impact of Rejecting or Not Rejecting Candidates

We all know that most candidates do not receive a rejection. Actually, as mentioned earlier as many as 23% of candidates do not receive a rejection. This is way too many and now I will tell you why!

Analyzing the feedback from over 300 000 candidates shows us that when candidates do not get rejected, the Candidate Net Promoter Score (CNPS) has an average of -44,7. This number may not tell you very much but what if I tell you that when candidates are rejected successfully, the CNPS has an average of -21,9.

This shows that not rejecting your candidates gives you more than twice as low CNPS than if you do reject your candidates in a good way which is why all organizations should try to give their candidates a rejection.

👎 Not rejecting a candidate → Candidate Net Promoter Score (CNPS) lands on an average of -44.7.

👍 When rejecting is done successfully → CNPS lands on -21.9.

👏 So delivering a rejection is powerful and has a direct and strong influence on your candidate experience.


Besides the basic fact that delivering a rejection has a strong influence on your candidate experience it also thereby impacts your employer brand. Creating a positive candidate experience will increase your CNPS and thereby increase the number of candidates that are categorized as promoters of your brand.

Just the simple act of rejecting candidates in a successful way will make your CNPS more than twice as good which will, for sure, have a positive impact on your employer brand.

Our 3 Best Tips to Send More Rejections to Candidates

  1. Assign someone responsible for this metric
  2. Find out how your ATS supports (or does not support) a high level of rejections
  3. Establish the culture of direct rejection

1. Assign Someone Responsible for This Metric

By giving someone in the organization the responsibility for making sure that all candidates receive rejections you decrease the risk of it becoming forgotten or avoided due to rationalizations such as “It is not my responsibility” or “I thought you did that”. It also makes it easier to keep track of the recruiters and compare different scores of candidate rejection in order to evaluate the performance.

2. Find out how your ATS supports (or does not support) a high level of rejections

Sometimes there might be different parts in your ATS were candidates get lost and disappear from the process without getting a rejection. By getting familiar with how your ATS works and what pitfalls it may have you can analyze and try to come up with solutions for solving the problem or at least decrease the number of candidates that do not get a rejection.

3. Establish the Culture of Direct Rejection

This is one of the most important parts of how to create a recruitment process that sends out rejection to all candidates. As organizational culture does affect individuals’ behavior it is important to strive against building a culture of direct rejection.

To be straight forward, we all know that there is no point in waiting a few months before sending out a rejection. Neither the organization nor the candidate will benefit from such behavior.

Doing it directly after the interview or application will both increase the chance of it not being forgotten while at the same time give the candidate a chance to move on and apply for other jobs.

So what have this analysis of the feedback from over 300 000 candidates taught us?

Well, right now the number of candidates that get rejected successfully are too few.

Not rejecting your candidates will contribute to a more than twice as low CNPS as if you successfully reject them.

By using our three best tips to successfully reject your candidates you will be able to increase your CNPS. And turning more candidates into promoters creating a stronger employer brand.

dolor venenatis, velit, facilisis felis ipsum