It can be daunting to sift through anywhere from tens to thousands of resumes for any given open position. But managing your communication with applicants can help to improve your reputation among job seekers, possibly increasing the quality of candidates you attract. Develop a system of staying in touch with candidates throughout the entire hiring process, even if they have not made the final round of interviews or been offered a position.
Send an Email
Have your human resources department send a generic email to applicants who have been rejected from consideration without being asked to interview. This early in the process, contact can be minimal and does not need to be personalized. Automated emails can be customized for use at various stages in the hiring process. The emails can also be combined with phone follow-ups for candidates with whom you have had a greater degree of engagement.
Write Thank You Notes
Follow up with rejected candidates with a thank-you note. The note can express appreciation for their time, their interest in the company and even provide them with information on the next steps if their resume is being kept on file. If you are rejecting the candidate outright and will not be considering them for future positions, remain professional, but considerate.
Use Rejection Postcards
Rejection postcards can be useful for large hiring campaigns. Simply drop the postcard in the mail when a candidate has been eliminated from consideration. Use postcards for candidates who applied, but did not have direct contact with you or a hiring manager.
Make a Phone Call
If the candidate has reached the interview stage, consider calling them to let them know they will not be getting an offer. The five or ten minutes you take out of your day to explain your decision to them and offer to answer any questions can be worth it if you would seriously consider them for a future opportunity.
Tell them that their resume will be kept on file for at least six months and they should apply for any other job openings they come across at the company – but only if you have genuinely interest in speaking to them regarding other opportunities. Be as polite and forthcoming as possible, but don’t lead them to believe they have a shot at future opportunities if they don’t.
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