feedback to unsuccessful candidates

Do you have to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates?

One question that I’m asked by employers on a regular basis is do you have to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates?

In short, the answer is no. You are not legally obliged to provide any feedback to candidates who were unsuccessful at any stage of the recruitment process.

Saying that, although it’s not a legal necessity, I would strongly recommend that you do.

There’s plenty of reasons why you should provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates, and the first one is purely down to good manners and the fact that you should appreciate the time and effort that they’ve taken to submit applications and attend interviews.

Imagine that you’d taken hours working on your CV and interview technique only to be faced with the news that you’d been unsuccessful but given absolutely no reason that your application wasn’t being taken any further. It certainly wouldn’t leave you with warm and fuzzy feelings towards the company in question, would it?

And remember, these candidates aren’t just jobseekers – they’re also customers in some cases with friends and family that they’re sure to relate their experience with your business back to.

Feedback to unsuccessful candidates doesn’t need to be a three page report or long-winded in-depth analysis on their interview performance, a simple letter thanking them for their interest in the role and perhaps a short paragraph on why you felt that they wouldn’t be suitable for the role at this time will suffice. You could even give them a call to discuss the reasons if that’s what the candidate has requested.

The most important thing to remember here is to be positive and give constructive feedback to the candidate so that they can remedy any shortcomings and address any areas that need improvement in the future.

For more advice on how to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates, speak to our team of experienced recruitment professionals today on 01782 338787.

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Filed Under: Employers, Legal Updates

Emma Bonfiglio

About the author, Emma Bonfiglio

Managing Director at Appointments, Emma has spent 15 years building up a stellar reputation for commercial recruitment excellence across a variety of industries and sectors. There’s no staffing challenge Emma hasn’t encountered and her insight into the recruitment landscape has assisted countless clients achieve their goals over the years.


Specialising in the legislative and procedural side of business operations and through her extensive knowledge and continual training, Emma has a wealth of legal and contractual recruitment knowledge to help advise and support organisations of any size and in any industry.