Candidate Experience Lab: Rethinking Rejection #HootHROS


You’ve checked your inbox each hour for the past several days waiting from a response on that dream job you applied to. Sometimes your patience pays off with an email or call back to interview. More often than not (based on application/interview percentages), you don’t. We’ve all been there. How a company handles that delicate situation says a lot about their character. For some applicants, that email never comes (the unfortunate ‘black hole’). Your enthusiastic application is greeted with silence and you’re left to wonder if your resume was even seen. For others, you receive a standard rejection template that conveys a message you will not be considered for the job. The latter is preferable of course, as it offers a sense of closure to applicants, but could organizations do more to help job seekers beyond their application?

What if companies offered more than closure?

We recently tackled this question at Hootsuite. Several months ago we redesigned our application response to proactively address questions job seekers often have around things like: resume review process, feedback timing, and interview process. This project got us wondering how we might re-think the process of notifying candidates that weren’t selected for a job.

Let’s look at the numbers. We receive approximately 500 applications each week. That is a lot of candidate experience we have an opportunity to impact in a better way. We are dedicated to ensuring applicants who do not move forward get as much resource towards getting a positive experience as the applicants who do. We felt that an easy place to start could be to find a way to offer them more than a standard “thanks but no thanks” email.

More Than “We Regret To Inform You…”

It is our genuine intention to help job seekers outside of their application with Hootsuite. We thought we could weave in some of our learnings to share with them, so we revised our candidate emails (message varies slightly based on stage of interview) to include what we hope will be seen as additional resources they can draw from. These emails will be in addition to phone notifications for all candidates we've brought in to interview. 

This effort will be iterative based on candidate feedback and will include a curated list of resources that cover many stages of the job search lifecycle; job search strategies, networking, company research, resume writing, LinkedIn tips, interview prep, interview feedback, and more. You can see the full email below.

In the email, we write that messages like this can be deflating and we do not want them to be. We mean it and will be updating this template with that effort in mind. In the meantime, please feel free to use or share as it suits you.

Why are we doing this? We are sharing our resources and learnings as part of our open-source HR (#HootHROS) initiative. We’ve included more open source HR resources below for you to check out and invite you to join us by sharing yours.

Introduction to Open Source HR

Case Studies

Blog Posts

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Thank you for your interest in Hootsuite. We appreciate the time you took to apply for the TITLE role. We were very fortunate to have a very strong group of applicants to consider for this role, and unfortunately have decided to move forward with other candidates.

Please know we will hold onto your application and if a position opens that closely matches your skill set, we may contact you directly. We’re in growth mode at Hootsuite, so new positions open regularly. We encourage you to keep an eye on our career site for other positions you may find interesting.

In the meantime, we’d love to stay connected with you and encourage you to get to know us better through some of the following channels:

Are you actively looking for your next opportunity?

We know emails like this can be deflating and we don’t want them to be. While this particular opportunity was not a fit, we appreciate your interest in us and want to do what we can to help you in your search.

Below are some job search resources we’ve curated that you might find helpful – blogs, tips, etc. 

Tips & Best Practices

We hope you find these resources helpful. Please check back with us again in the future for new Hootsuite opportunities.

We wish you all the best in the meantime!

Hootsuite Talent Acquisition Team