The unexpected costs of NOT reimbursing job candidates for interview expenses

The candidate experience during the recruitment process can significantly impact an organization's reputation and ability to attract top talent. A critical yet often overlooked aspect of the interview process is the timely reimbursement of candidates' expenses. Discussions on platforms like Reddit’s r/recruitinghell ( reveal numerous firsthand accounts from candidates who have faced delays or failures in receiving reimbursements for travel, accommodation, and other interview-related expenses. These stories highlight the negative consequences that companies can face when they neglect this part of the hiring process.

The Importance of Promptly Reimbursing Candidates for Interview Expenses

First Impressions Matter

The interview process is a two-way street; while candidates try to impress potential employers, companies are also scrutinized. The treatment of candidates during this phase is often seen as a reflection of the company's overall culture and operational integrity. Prompt reimbursement of expenses shows respect for candidates and their efforts to engage with your company, setting a positive tone from the outset.

Financial Considerations

For many candidates, especially those currently unemployed or recent graduates, fronting travel and accommodation costs can be a significant financial burden. Delays in reimbursement can cause financial stress and deter talented individuals from applying to or accepting positions, particularly if they perceive the company as inconsiderate or disorganized.

Employer Branding

Online forums and social platforms like Reddit's r/recruitinghell are filled with tales of candidates airing their grievances about companies that promptly fail to reimburse interview expenses. These posts can go viral, damaging a company's reputation among potential applicants and the broader industry. Maintaining a positive image is crucial in an era where employer reviews can significantly influence career decisions.

The Consequences of Neglect

Negative Publicity

The stories shared on r/recruitinghell often gain traction quickly and can lead to widespread negative publicity. This tarnishes a company’s image and can lead to a decline in the quality of applicants and increased difficulty in filling positions.

Loss of Top Talent

High-caliber candidates often have multiple offers and opportunities. A company that fails to handle reimbursements efficiently may lose top talent to competitors who demonstrate tremendous respect for candidates' needs and time.

In some cases, the failure to reimburse expenses as promised can also lead to legal challenges, particularly if the promise of reimbursement was included in the terms of the interview process. This can lead to additional costs and distractions that could have been easily avoided.

Best Practices for Managing Candidate Reimbursements

Clear Communication

Ensure your reimbursement policy is well communicated to candidates before they incur expenses. This includes limits on amounts, types of expenses covered, and the process for submitting claims.

Streamline the Process

Utilize software (HINT HINT: Reimbi) or dedicated staff to manage reimbursements. Processes should be straightforward and designed to handle claims quickly and efficiently.

Regular Follow-Ups

Keep candidates informed about the status of their reimbursement. Regular updates can ease anxiety and demonstrate that the company is attentive and organized.


How a company handles the reimbursement of interview expenses can significantly influence its reputation and effectiveness in attracting and hiring the best talent. As the discussions on platforms like r/recruitinghell suggest, it is in every organization’s best interest to treat candidates with respect and consideration by ensuring that reimbursements are prompt and handled professionally. Doing so enhances the candidate experience and fortifies the company’s reputation as an employer.

By prioritizing these practices, companies can avoid the pitfalls of poor candidate treatment and build a robust and positive brand.

Team Reimbi

Team Reimbi

Portland, Oregon