What is the best feedback(or feedback you’ve heard) to provide to a rejected candidate who is a close second but the other candidate just seems to be a bit better cultural fit?

Candidate we are proceeding has more energy, genuine, came across more authentic. Which is something hard to quantify.

We would’ve offered both if we had 2 roles

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I always call to deliver the news. I would tell the candidate they interviewed very well and that we think they would be a great fit for the agency and it was a tough decision but the team decided to move forward with a candidate they feel is a better fit for this particular role. We would love to stay in touch and if it’s ok with you, reach out as other opportunities arise.

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Yeah, this circumstance is always a bit of a tricky one. Tell them to not keep their head low, and that ultimately it came down to fit; that they will be kept in mind for similar/related roles.

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You could say it exactly as you post it here... Nothing wrong with being genuine I think. I always give a short and honest explanation when rejecting candidates late in the process, and ask if they would like more thorough feedback - some will others won't. Those that will are in my opinion worth keeping in the drawer for future positions as they have demonstrated a will to learn and grow. You just might have a "warm" candidate for a future opening if you play it right...

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I agree with this. I don't think you really need to go into details. Just give them the real reason :)

Is there any opportunity for rejected candidate to apply for a similar role in the future? Maybe you could lay a perspective timeline out for them so they know not to be discouraged.

Thank you for considering us at X company.

The selection process for the next round was highly competitive and we have decided to move forward with a candidate whose qualifications better fit our needs at this time.

Gratitudes, gratitudes, ending.

Agreed. I don't think you need to go into great detail. This is a great example of what you could say.

This is one of the hard parts of our job. What I do is, I give a direct and honest answer. When they ask for more feedback, that's when I try to expound the factors.

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