Remember when a candidate kept calling or emailing you about this one job they applied for or interviewed for? Dealing with a persistent candidate sometimes can be very daunting and frustrating, especially when you’re spread thin with other recruiting tasks. However, as an HR professional, a recruiter, or even a small business owner looking to hire talent, how can you professionally deal with a persistent candidate? 

As much as you want to ignore them, this could potentially reflect in a negative review on company review platforms. Here are some tips on how to deal with pushy candidates. 


Be clear and transparent

If the team has decided to move on with other candidates, allow the candidate to know any updates on the application process. Transparency is critical, and it gives the candidate piece of mind. If possible, provide candidates with interview or application feedback to help them improve for their future job interviews. 

Tip: Candidates who received constructive feedback after an interview are 4x more likely to consider the company in the future.

To maintain a healthy and positive relationship with candidates, be clear and transparent with application updates to avoid miscommunications and misunderstandings. 


Provide a timeline 

Let your candidate know when they should expect a response from the team. It is essential to keep your word and provide an approximate timeline for the candidate. At times, it is unavoidable that priorities change; however, it is best to give them a “heads up” if anything changes to avoid negative feedback from the candidate. 

Put yourself in their shoes 

Sometimes life happens and people are desperate for jobs to support family, life and more. If you are in their shoes, you may also feel desperate and want information about application updates. Although HR professionals or recruiters have many to handle at once, take a step back and understand how you will feel if you’re someone also going through hardships at the moment. 

Remain polite and professional 

Remaining professional goes a long way as an HR professional (in any position). It’s inevitable to face pushy, persistent, and even rude candidates from time to time; it is always essential for recruiters and HR professionals to remain polite and professional throughout the process. As someone who represents the company, you’re acting on behalf of the company. 

Dealing with pushy candidates can sometimes be tricky. Although there’s no golden rule on how to deal with pushy candidates, your goal is to remain polite and professional to avoid negative backlash. If you’re facing trouble rejecting or handling a persistent candidate, I hope you find these tips helpful. 

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Rene Cheng