When any of us await an answer where the choice is either yes or no, we obviously hope the answer to be yes. Yet, realistically and statistically, yes is only likely to happen half the time. It is easy for us to deliver good news, and we normally enjoy telling someone yes. Personally, I know that I would rather be told no quickly, than to wait several weeks on edge with an uncertain outcome.
But a funny thing happens when the answer is not yes. Most people are very uncomfortable saying no, and this creates at least four strange behaviors.
-Wait to deliver the news, knowing full well the outcome will not change, but hoping time will make it easier
-Seek additional information to potentially reverse the decision.
-Tell the person no, but make up a lame explanation
To me, the worst alternative is doing nothing. It is rude, disrespectful and clearly not the way you want to represent yourself, your company and your brand. A good example is the process of applying for a job – you are applying, and you know there is a good chance you may not be hired. Hearing no will not cause you to jump off the roof. My personal experience and non-scientific research indicates that employers not telling informing applicants of a no decision is very typical.
Cadbury responded to this letter (which subsequently was found to be a fake application from a BuzzFeed UK writer). The company that makes chocolate candy and other goodies sent a thanks but no thanks letter to a job applicant even though their normal policy is not to. As you read this letter, courtesy of Social Talent, keep in mind how Mr. Castle tells the applicant, Mr. Jones no, in a way that instills empathy and humanity through humor.