There are crucial times and opportunities where you should communicate with your candidates. Most importantly in order to:
- Acknowledge their application
- Schedule an interview or tell them they were not selected for an interview
- Thank for the interview and make job offer (or schedule a second one) or reject for the job
Along all these steps, you manage the candidates' image of and overall experience with your company, thus affecting whether they apply for future positions or how they talk about your company to friends and family (or on platforms like kununu.com or glassdoor).
After you have received applications from your candidates and preselected them, you will start the interview process in the next step. It is very important, however, that you let all your candidates know whether they have been selected for a personal interview or not.
In practice, candidates are often “ghosted” -left unnotified about the status of their application. Some recruiters only contact those candidates who have been accepted for an interview. However, it is just as necessary to contact those that were rejected for an interview. Read about how to gracefully reject candidates for an interview in the bottom paragraphs.
Schedule an interview
If you decide to invite a candidate to a personal interview, you can tell them so via phone or email --while email is a perfectly suitable format allowing for location- and time-independent recall and response.
In this email, you should include the following:
- Compliments for being selected for an interview
- The position, for which you’re interviewing
- the person of the interviewer
- what to bring to the interview
- Contact details of the interviewer
- Schedule time and location of interview [employing self-scheduling software]
If you intend to employ an AI-based interview like Retorio, you should furthermore equip your candidate with information on how such an interview works and why they benefit from it as a candidate. See for a detailed template here.
Reject for interview
Just like with a high school test you prepared for and took part in you would like to know whether you passed it, candidates want to receive feedback on the state of their application. For a pleasing and smooth candidate experience, you will have to let all candidates know, where they stand --selected or not. Creating an email template for rejecting inapt candidates for a job interview --where you only have to personalize name and position-- will help you save time in the process. Even when you’re a small company with a limited HR department, informing all your candidates --by a partly or fully automated response system-- should be a top priority.
In this email you should let your candidates know:
- you appreciate their interest in your company and value the time dedicated to the application
- They are not furthermore considered for the position
- encourage them to apply for future positions
- you would like to keep them in your ATS/connect with them on LinkedIn or similar for future job openings if they agree (for candidates that potentially fit your company culture but are not eligible for this certain position)
- You wish them all the best for their professional future
An example of how to integrate these steps into an email draft can be seen in the template below.
Email Template for rejecting for an interview
Subject: Rejection for job interview for _____ position at _______ [company name]
Dear Candidate Name,
We appreciate your interest in ______ [company name] and the position of _______ for which you applied. After reviewing the applications received by the deadline, yours was not selected for further consideration.
The selection committee appreciates the time you invested in your application. We encourage you to apply for posted positions in our company, for which you qualify, in the future.
[Also, we would like to keep you in our ATS system/ connect with you on LinkedIn [or other] for future job opportunities if you agree to that.]
We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
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