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Provisional Blog

4 Tips to Turn Down Internal Job Applicants

March 13th, 2018

Giving negative feedback to an employee is hard. Rejecting them for a promotion or internal job they applied for can be downright scary.

But at the end of the day, if you don’t handle the situation right, you could wind up with a disengaged worker who eventually leaves. Instead, be grateful for the internal candidates you have stepping forward to fill your job openings. Also, make sure you’re transparent with them so they understand why they didn’t win the roles they applied for.

To help you in the process, here are some tips from Provisional – one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s top staffing services – to keep in mind:

Tip #1: Do it in person.

Don’t simply send an email or make a quick call to the internal candidate. They are an employee after all, and deserve more care and attention in this kind of difficult situation. So schedule some one-on-one time with them so you can break the news, answer their questions and also provide them with the feedback they need to learn from the experience.

Tip #2: Avoid vague cliches.

In other words, don’t say things like “the search committee went in a different direction” or they decided to hire someone with “qualifications that more closely aligned to the position.” This will leave your employee not only rejected, but also completely confused about where things went wrong. As a result, they might end up pursuing external opportunities so they can continue to advance their career.

Tip #3: Be straightforward.

Being honest is tough, but also brave. You don’t want to tell an existing employee that they “lacked vision” or “weren’t strategic enough.” However, if you’re vague when it comes to the feedback you give them, then you’re doing them a disservice. While you don’t have to be harsh, do be honest and let them know specifically where they fell short. It’s easy to shy away from the truth when you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, but being frank will actually pay off for you both in the long run. That’s because your employee will understand where they fell short.

Tip #4: Offer actionable advice.

Another aspect of this process is to offer your employee advice they can act on. For instance, if the candidate you did hire had a certain skill set or knowledge base, let your employee know what that is and how they can go about acquiring those abilities. However, before you dig into this level of feedback, you might want to wait a few weeks. That way, you can give your employee some time for the sting of rejection to wear off, so they can truly listen and learn from the situation.

Need help finding great-fit employees for your job openings?

Turn to the experts at Provisional. As one of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho’s top staffing services, we know how to source, screen, interview, test, and vet top-quality candidates, all so you get the talented people you need to join your team. Contact us today whether you’re ready to learn more or get started.

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