Do you send rejection letters to applicants?

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in The HR Specialist Forum

Question: “I’m planning to create a standard letter to send to applicants who we interviewed but rejected. Do other companies send such letters? (This was our president’s idea!) If so, can you give me an example of the wording you use? Thanks.” -- Janice, Texas


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Our hiring is done by each supervisor and they are responsible for contacting the applicants that they don't hire. Some use letters, others call in person. Either way, it is VERY important to acknowledge that they weren't chosen and to wish them luck on their employment search. A couple years ago I had interviewed for a position and was called back for a 2nd interview. I was told it was between me & one other person. I never heard another word from the company. After awhile I assumed that I didn't get the job, but it would have been nice to get some response.

For all applicants, we do have a form letter to send. For those who receive a personal interview, I call directly.

Like Greg,I send a form (merge)letter, signed by me, to those not chosen. I personally call those who have had a second (finalist) interview.

Our reject letter says: "I am writing to let you know that we have filled the ___ [part-time teller, etc.] opening we had at our ____ facility.

"We will keep your resume and/or application on file for a year, in case we should have another opening which seems to be a good match for your skills and experience.

"Thank you for your interest in ____ [our company]. Best wishes in your job search!"

At the first interview, I tell applicants we will let them know either way once the hiring decision has been made. They seem to appreciate this courtesy, and it builds good will for our company.

In your rejection letter, be sure to direct the candidate to your careers website to continue exploring opportunities with your organization.

Even if they may not have worked out in one position, be sure to maintain and build a positive relationship so that if something opens that is a solid match for the candidate's background and skill set, they will have been left with a positive impression of the company and want to consider future employment opportunities (or refer a friend that would fit the qualifications of a position).

That being said, if a candidate has invested a significant amount of time interviewing with your organization, a personal phone call is significantly more effective and appropriate to notify them of his/her non-selected status.

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