Do Hiring Managers Call to Reject Applicants?

Job applicants go through a multi-step hiring process, after they submit their resumes. One question many job seekers may have is: “do hiring managers call to reject applicants?” A common fear among applicants is that they may spend hours preparing for an interview, only to receive an impersonal rejection email. In this article, we will explore the hiring process and the use of phone calls to inform job applicants of their rejection status.

Hiring managers receive numerous job applications. So, it’s natural to wonder how they choose to notify rejected applicants. Do they send emails, letters, or take the extra step to make a personal phone call?

In the following sections, we will cover the different communication methods that hiring managers use for rejecting applicants, how the job market competition affects their decisions, and what job applicants can do to manage rejection when it happens.

Key Takeaways

  • Hiring managers use different communication methods to reject job applicants, including phone calls, emails, and letters.
  • The significance of phone calls for rejections depends on both the employer and the job applicant.
  • Factors such as job market competition and company size influence how hiring managers communicate rejection.
  • Effective rejection communication is vital to maintaining professionalism and building employer branding.
  • Job applicants can learn from rejection and use it as an opportunity to improve their job search strategies and interview skills.

The Hiring Process: An Overview

Before diving into the topic of rejection calls, it’s essential to understand the hiring process‘s basics. The typical hiring process involves several steps, from the initial job posting to the final decision. These steps may vary depending on the organization and the job position. However, some of the common steps that most hiring processes include are:

Step Description
Job Posting The employer advertises the job opening, usually on their website, online job boards, and social media platforms.
Resume Screening The employer reviews the submitted resumes and shortlists the applicants who meet the job criteria.
Interviews The shortlisted candidates are invited for interviews, which can be conducted in-person or virtually.
Reference and Background Checks The employer contacts the candidate’s references and runs a background check to verify their credentials.
Final Decision Based on the interview performance, reference checks, and other factors, the hiring manager makes the final decision and extends a job offer to the selected candidate.
Rejection Notification The employer communicates the hiring decision to all candidates, including those who were not selected for the job.

Throughout the hiring process, employers typically use different communication methods to notify applicants of their status. These methods can range from automated email notifications to formal rejection letters or rejection phone calls. The use of rejection phone calls can be a contentious issue among hiring managers, which we will explore further in the following sections.

Communication Methods in the Hiring Process

When it comes to hiring, clear and timely communication is key. Hiring managers use various methods to notify job applicants of their application status, including email notifications, formal rejection letters, and phone calls. While email notifications and formal letters are the most common methods of communication, phone calls are often reserved for more personal or urgent matters.

Despite this, some hiring managers still prefer to use phone calls to deliver rejection news. This allows for a more personal touch and can provide applicants with the opportunity to ask questions or receive feedback. However, it can also lead to increased anxiety and uncertainty, as applicants may feel pressured to respond immediately or may be caught off guard.

In any case, it’s important for hiring managers to communicate clearly and professionally throughout the hiring process. This includes providing applicants with a clear understanding of the process and timeline, as well as notifying them promptly of any status changes. By doing so, hiring managers can ensure a positive candidate experience and maintain a strong employer brand.

The Significance of Rejection Phone Calls

Phone call rejection from hiring managers can have significant implications for both the job applicant and the hiring manager. On the one hand, phone calls can be a more personalized and professional means of delivering rejection news, allowing hiring managers to convey empathy and respect for the applicant’s time and effort.

On the other hand, phone calls can be time-consuming and emotionally draining for both parties, particularly if the applicant has invested significant time and energy into the hiring process. Phone calls may also lead to uncomfortable conversations and potentially contentious interactions if the applicant questions the reasons for their rejection.

The Benefits of Phone Call Rejection

Despite these concerns, many hiring managers still see value in making rejection phone calls. According to a recent survey by Indeed, 69% of hiring managers said they always notify unsuccessful job applicants, and nearly half (48%) said they prefer doing so by phone.

Some of the core benefits of using phone calls to deliver rejection news include:

  • Personalization: Phone calls can give hiring managers the chance to offer personalized feedback and advice to applicants, helping them understand the company’s priorities and what they can do to improve their chances in the future.
  • Professionalism: Phone calls can help hiring managers convey empathy and respect for the applicant, particularly if they have gone through multiple rounds of interviews or submitted extensive application materials. This can help maintain the applicant’s positive impression of the company and its brand.
  • Transparency: Phone calls can also help ensure clear and accurate communication between the hiring manager and the applicant. This can help prevent misunderstandings or confusion about the applicant’s status and help them move on to other job opportunities more quickly.

The Drawbacks of Phone Call Rejection

At the same time, phone calls can also have some potential drawbacks when it comes to rejection communication. Some of the key concerns include:

  • Time Constraints: Phone calls can be time-consuming for both parties, particularly if the applicant has questions or concerns about their rejection. This can lead to lengthy conversations that take up significant amounts of the hiring manager’s time and energy.
  • Emotional Impact: Phone calls can also be more emotionally draining for both parties, particularly if the applicant was a strong contender for the position or had invested a significant amount of time and effort into the hiring process.
  • Unease: Phone calls may also be uncomfortable for applicants who are caught off guard or taken by surprise by the news of their rejection. This may lead to awkward or contentious interactions that could harm the company’s brand or reputation.

“It’s always hard to reject someone, but I think it’s important to respect their investment and communicate that in a respectful way.”

Indeed’s senior vice president of people and culture

Factors Influencing Rejection Communication

When it comes to communicating rejection to job applicants, there are several factors that may impact a hiring manager’s decision to use phone calls. Some of the common factors include the number of applicants, the size and type of the company, and the personal preferences of the hiring manager.

The number of applicants: In cases where there are a large number of applicants for a single position, it may not be feasible for hiring managers to personally call each applicant to deliver bad news. Instead, they may opt for a more efficient communication method, such as generic email notifications or formal rejection letters.

Company size and type: The size and type of the company may also play a role in the hiring manager’s decision to use rejection calls. In small companies, hiring managers may have more personal interactions with job applicants throughout the hiring process and may feel more obligated to deliver the news via phone call. However, in larger companies, more automated methods of communication may be preferred.

Personal preferences: Finally, the personal preferences of the hiring manager may also influence the use of rejection calls. Some hiring managers may see personal phone calls as a professional and respectful way to deliver the news, while others may feel uncomfortable with phone calls and prefer to stick to written communication.

The Importance of Professionalism in Rejection Communications

Regardless of the communication method used, it is important for hiring managers to maintain a professional and respectful tone when delivering bad news to job applicants. According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, 66% of job seekers said they would lose respect for a company if they didn’t receive a rejection after an interview. Therefore, employers should always make sure to send clear and informative rejection messages, whether through phone calls or other communication methods.

“Treat every applicant with the same level of respect and professionalism, regardless of whether or not they were selected for the position. A bad hiring experience can turn away not only that candidate but scores of others who read your bad reviews or overhear negative feedback.”Heather Huhman for Entrepreneur

By approaching rejection communication with professionalism and empathy, hiring managers can help maintain a positive reputation for their company and ensure that job applicants are treated with the respect they deserve, even when the news is not what they had hoped for.

The Role of Job Market Competition

Job market competition can significantly influence how hiring managers choose to communicate rejection to job applicants. In highly competitive job markets, such as the tech industry or top-level managerial positions, hiring managers are more likely to rely on automated rejection emails or avoid contact altogether, rather than making rejection phone calls.

However, in less competitive industries or for entry-level positions, hiring managers may be more inclined to provide feedback and communicate rejection over the phone. This can be attributed to a smaller pool of candidates and a desire to maintain positive relationships with potential future employees.

It’s worth noting that while job market competition is a significant factor, it is not the only one. Other factors, such as a company’s hiring practices and specific job requirements, may also influence whether a hiring manager chooses to make a rejection phone call.

do hiring managers call to reject

Ultimately, job applicants should not rely on receiving a rejection phone call as an indication of their chances of landing a job. Instead, they should focus on presenting their best selves during the hiring process and prepare for potential rejection in a professional manner.

Sending Clear Rejection Messages

When it comes to rejecting job applicants, hiring managers have a responsibility to provide clear and professional communications. Not only does it reflect on the company’s brand, but it’s also a legal obligation to abide by fair hiring practices. While some may opt for automated emails or generic letters, it’s essential to keep in mind the impact these messages have on candidates’ experiences and perceptions of the company.

To ensure clear rejection communications, hiring managers could consider the following tips:

  1. Be transparent: Honesty is the best policy. Explain the reasons why the candidate wasn’t selected and provide feedback, if possible.
  2. Be sensitive: Rejection is never easy, so be empathetic and acknowledge the effort the candidate put in during the hiring process.
  3. Be professional: Avoid vague language or unprofessional tones in the messaging. Keep it concise, courteous, and straightforward.

By implementing these practices, hiring managers can minimize potential miscommunications with candidates. They also foster a positive candidate experience throughout the hiring process, contributing to the company’s reputation as a trustworthy and respectful employer.

Overall, sending clear rejection messages through a hiring manager rejection call or another form of communication is crucial for maintaining ethical and respectful hiring practices. It not only benefits the candidate but also promotes the company’s efforts to build a professional and reliable brand image.

Managing Rejection Effectively

Rejection is a difficult experience that job seekers may encounter during their job search. When delivered through a phone call, rejection can feel personal and disheartening. However, it is essential to remember that rejection is a common part of the job search process, and it does not define your worth as a professional.

Here are some tips for managing phone call rejection by hiring managers:

  1. Express gratitude: Thank the hiring manager for taking the time to speak with you and consider your application. Showing gratitude demonstrates professionalism and can leave a positive impression.
  2. Stay positive: After receiving rejection, it is natural to feel disappointed or frustrated. However, it is important to maintain a positive outlook and avoid dwelling on negative thoughts. Take some time to reflect on what you learned from the interview and use the experience as an opportunity to grow.
  3. Ask for feedback: Requesting constructive feedback can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement. Although hiring managers may not always be able to provide feedback, asking demonstrates initiative and a willingness to learn.
  4. Keep moving forward: The job search process can be long and challenging, but it is essential to keep moving forward. Don’t let rejection discourage you from pursuing your professional goals.

Remember, rejection is not personal, and it happens to everyone at some point in their career. By managing rejection in a professional and positive manner, you can turn it into a valuable learning experience and move closer to finding the right job opportunity.

The Impact of Technology on Rejection Communication

The rise of technology has revolutionized recruitment practices, transforming traditional communication methods used during the hiring process. While there was a time when hiring managers relied on phone calls to communicate rejection messages to job applicants, that is no longer the case.

The preference now is to use automated rejection emails and applicant tracking systems due to their efficiency and speed. These technological advancements have significantly reduced the need for phone calls as a means of communication in the hiring process, including those for rejection messages.

Although sending emails or using automated systems has its advantages, specifically in terms of time and effort, it can also foster a sense of impersonality and insensitivity. Additionally, relying solely on technology to deliver rejection messages can generate negative reactions from job applicants.

“Getting a rejection message after investing so much time in an application is painful enough, but receiving an email or automated message makes it that much more difficult and impersonal.”

Comparing Hiring Managers’ Communication Preferences in 2020 and in 2022

To better illustrate the impact of technology on communication methods, a study was conducted in 2020 and in 2022 to compare hiring managers’ communication preferences. It was found that in 2020, 75% of hiring managers preferred phone calls to deliver rejection messages, while only 25% preferred to use automated communication methods. However, in 2022, these numbers had shifted.

Now, 65% of hiring managers prefer the use of automated messages to deliver rejection messages. Only 35% prefer phone calls for the same purpose.

Year Phone Calls Automated Messages
2020 75% 25%
2022 35% 65%

The table above provides a visual representation of the changes in hiring manager communication preferences from 2020 to 2022. The shift towards automated rejection emails and applicant tracking systems has significantly impacted traditional communication methods such as phone calls.

However, it is important to note that there are still hiring managers who prefer phone calls for delivering rejection news. Therefore, job applicants cannot be certain of the communication method used by hiring managers. It is crucial that all forms of communication during the hiring process are handled with respect and professionalism.

Final Thoughts on Rejection Calls

Calling to reject job applicants has been a long-standing practice in the hiring process. However, as the job market evolves, so do the communication methods used by hiring managers. While rejection phone calls can offer a personal touch and allow for explanations about the decision, they can also be time-consuming and emotionally taxing for both parties.

Ultimately, the decision to make rejection calls should be based on factors such as company culture, the number of applicants, and the hiring manager’s personal preferences. It’s important for hiring managers to consider the impact of their communication methods on job applicants, as well as the overall efficiency of the hiring process.

Moreover, job applicants can benefit from managing rejection effectively, using it as an opportunity for self-reflection and growth. It is vital for hiring managers to provide clear and respectful communication regarding rejection, regardless of the method used.

As technology continues to drive change, the use of automated rejection emails and applicant tracking systems may become more prevalent. Nevertheless, the importance of thoughtful and effective communication will remain a crucial component of the hiring process.

Ultimately, the decision to make rejection calls should be based on factors such as company culture, the number of applicants, and the hiring manager’s personal preferences. It’s important for hiring managers to consider the impact of their communication methods on job applicants, as well as the overall efficiency of the hiring process.

Final Suggestion:

It’s important to remember that rejection is a natural part of the job search process. Use it as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement. And, if you receive a rejection call, be gracious and professional, thanking the hiring manager for their time and consideration. This can leave a positive impression and may lead to other opportunities in the future.


After exploring the topic of hiring managers’ use of rejection calls, it is clear that phone calls are just one of many communication methods employed throughout the hiring process. While some hiring managers may choose to make rejection calls, it is not a universal practice.

Factors such as the number of applicants, company size, and personal preferences may influence how a hiring manager chooses to communicate rejection. However, it is vital for hiring managers to prioritize transparency and professionalism in their rejection communications, regardless of the method used.

For job applicants, rejection can be a challenging experience, particularly when delivered through a phone call. However, by managing rejection effectively, applicants can use it as a learning opportunity to improve their job search skills and maintain a positive mindset.

Finally, with the rise of automated rejection emails and applicant tracking systems, the use of phone calls as a means of rejection communication may continue to diminish. Nevertheless, the importance of clear and respectful communication throughout the hiring process remains paramount.

In conclusion, rejection calls from hiring managers are not a guaranteed practice, but when used, should convey a transparent and professional message. Job applicants should prepare themselves for rejection and use it as an opportunity for growth. As technology continues to shape hiring practices, clear and respectful communication remains the cornerstone of a successful hiring process.


Do hiring managers call to reject applicants?

Yes, hiring managers may call to reject applicants in certain situations. However, the practice of making rejection phone calls can vary depending on the company’s hiring process and the number of applicants. It is more common for hiring managers to utilize other communication methods like email or formal rejection letters.

What is the hiring process?

The hiring process typically involves multiple steps, including application submission, resume screening, interviews, and background checks. The duration and specific process may vary across companies. Hiring managers usually communicate with applicants through email or phone calls to update them on their application status.

How do hiring managers communicate with applicants during the hiring process?

Hiring managers use various communication methods such as email, formal rejection letters, and phone calls to notify applicants of their status. Email notifications are common for initial responses and updates. Some hiring managers prefer to use formal rejection letters to convey the decision. Phone calls are less common but may be used in certain cases, especially for finalists or highly sought-after positions.

What is the significance of rejection phone calls from hiring managers?

Rejection phone calls can be seen as a more personal approach compared to automated emails or formal letters. It allows hiring managers to provide feedback and answer any questions the applicant may have. However, it can also be time-consuming and may not be feasible for companies with a large number of applicants.

What factors influence how hiring managers choose to communicate rejections?

The factors that influence how hiring managers choose to communicate rejections include the number of applicants, the size of the company, and the hiring manager’s personal preferences. Companies with a high volume of applicants may rely more on automated emails or rejection letters, while smaller companies or positions with fewer applicants may have more personal communication.

Does competition in the job market affect the likelihood of receiving a rejection call?

The level of competition in the job market can potentially affect the likelihood of receiving a rejection call. In highly competitive industries or for sought-after positions, hiring managers may opt for more personal communication methods like rejection phone calls to maintain a positive image and provide a better candidate experience. However, this may not be the case for all companies or positions.

How should hiring managers send clear rejection messages?

Hiring managers should send clear rejection messages by being transparent and professional in their communication. It is important to provide clear reasons for the rejection and, if possible, offer constructive feedback to help applicants improve. Using a respectful and courteous tone ensures that the rejection message is conveyed in a considerate manner.

How can job applicants effectively manage rejection, especially through phone calls?

Job applicants can effectively manage rejection by staying positive and using it as a learning opportunity. It is essential to maintain professionalism and thank the hiring manager for their time and consideration. Reflecting on the experience, seeking feedback, and staying persistent in the job search can help applicants bounce back from rejection.

How has technology impacted rejection communication in the hiring process?

Technology has introduced automated rejection emails and applicant tracking systems, which have reduced the reliance on phone calls for rejection communication. Many companies now use automated systems to handle initial rejections, while reserving phone calls for more personalized or final decisions. Technology has streamlined the hiring process but also minimized direct communication.

What are the final thoughts on rejection calls by hiring managers?

Rejection calls by hiring managers can offer a personal touch and provide an opportunity for feedback. However, they may not be feasible for all companies due to time constraints or a large volume of applicants. It is crucial for hiring managers to balance efficiency with professionalism and ensure that rejection messages are delivered respectfully and clearly.

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