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Thanks for interviewing, but no thanks…

Congratulations!  You finally found the right candidate to fill your job opening!  You can happily check that off the “to-do” list now, right?  Maybe…

Remember the other top candidates you interviewed?  Remember the phone screens you conducted?  Remember all the applicant resumes you reviewed?  They are all still waiting for a reply or status update on the job opening.  Not replying is a surefire way to receive negative comments out in the community about your organization.  (Think social media, Glassdoor or

Here are ways to ensure your “no thank you” news is handled timely and professionally:

  1. If your hiring process is long, get a “thanks, but no thanks” email off to applicants that you know are not a match as soon as possible.  Have a standard, simple and concise message ready to go.
  2. Phone screened candidates that are not moving onto the next step should also be notified as soon as possible.  Preferably a phone call.  If you phone screened numerous candidates, an email may be sufficient. If you would consider them in the future, let them know.  Consider connecting with them on LinkedIn.
  3. In-person interviewed candidates should be kept up-to-date on the process via email or phone call.  Once a decision is made, a phone call is a necessity and should be made as soon as your selected candidate accepts the job offer.  Connect with them on LinkedIn.  Perhaps set up future times on your calendar just to check-in and say “hello”.
  4. Ensure your “thanks, but no thanks” is truthful, lawful, and based on skillset, not the individual.  Shy away from depressing words like “I’m sorry”, “unfortunately” or “rejected”.  Standard consistent messages are better than personalized messages so as not to spark legal issues, but still insert the candidates name.

Remember, job seekers have taken time out of their day to review your job posting, complete your application process, as well as consider your company as a place of employment.  What an honor!  Treat these individuals with respect and appreciation.  These job seekers could apply to future positions or refer others your way.  Be sure to thank them!

If you are an HR Works Virtual HR Helpline client, contact us today for standard “no thank you” letters at (585) 381-8340 x1 or for additional information.

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HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.