Ask Leslie: Do I Have To Notify Rejected Applicants That They Were Rejected?

By Leslie Zieren, The McCalmon Group, Inc.

Dear Leslie:

We recently hired a new employee. I'm wondering if I am required to notify the rejected applicants that they won't be hired.

Signed: Jennifer


Dear Jennifer:

Generally speaking, there is no legal requirement to notify rejected applicants.

However, it is a best practice to do so for several reasons. First, it's respectful and reflects well on your organization. Second, you never know when a person you reject, but to whom you don't bother communicating about the rejection, may end up becoming a candidate for your next position or the contact person for one of your clients in the future.

Thank the applicant by name for the effort and interest the applicant put forth during the interview process. Say something neutral like "we decided to offer the position to another applicant." If appropriate, invite the applicant to pursue another opening with your organization, should an opening become available.

Jack McCalmon and Leslie Zieren are attorneys with more than 50 years combined experience assisting employers in lowering their risk, including answering questions, like the one above, through the McCalmon Group's Best Practices Help Line. The Best Practice Help Line is a service of The McCalmon Group, Inc. Your organization may have access to The Best Practice Help Line or a similar service from another provider at no cost to you or at a discount. For questions about The Best Practice Help Line or what similar services are available to you via this Platform, call 888.712.7667.

If you have a question that you would like Jack McCalmon or Leslie Zieren to consider for this column, please submit it to Please note that The McCalmon Group cannot guarantee that your question will be answered. Answers are based on generally accepted risk management best practices. They are not, and should not be considered, legal advice. If you need an answer immediately or desire legal advice, please call your local legal counsel.

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