If you have ever been the person delivering the message, or receiving it, the conversation when a person is told they didn’t receive the position or job they were hoping for is tough to swallow.
Often, and unfortunately, a person applies for a position and is left just wondering and waiting. Did they get the job? Nope. Did anyone have the humanity and decency to let them know? Nope. Are they waiting for a call, explaining to people that they are still “waiting to find out”? Absolutely. The follow-up is SO important, and also avoided. Why? Because it’s bad news. No one wants to deliver the bad news.
This is why you should.
First of all, because they are counting on it. Secondly, it can be a moment of inspiration and empowerment. Following up with an email, phone call or in person are all acceptable. Provide an explanation as to why they were not chosen. In conjunction, identify their strengths. Give them advice on what they can do to further what they need to become more appropriate for the position. Encourage them down a different path if their strengths suggest a different type of position would be more beneficial. Be honest. Be sincere. Be empathetic. Offer to assist them if they need support finding or applying for something else. This will not only inspire them to try again or try something else, but also empower them because you are reinforcing the fact that it is definitely within their power to let this be an opportunity of growth and realization rather than a moment of discouragement. It will also bring closure to the situation.
People are important and their aspirations are valuable. Be sure to remember.