I’m presenting this email exchange
without comment with minimal comment.
Letter-writer: I am very new to the world of hiring, having just recently been moved into an HR role at my company. I have found your blog so helpful! But I searched and didn’t see an answer to this question…
How can I best decline a candidate who did not follow up after an interview and as a result is not being moved forward in the process? Is this email a good way to handle it: ”We enjoyed meeting with you last week. We are sorry we didn’t hear from you regarding your continued interest in the marketing role. As a result, we will remove you from future follow up. Thanks again for taking the time to meet with us.”
I could just send our regular decline note, but I think it’s helpful to let the candidate know that him not following up is what took him out of the running.
Me: Wait, why are you rejecting him just for not following up? Did you ask him to follow up? If not, I’m very confused by this!
Letter-writer: The hiring manager for this role has a pretty strict rule about this and will not move forward with a candidate who doesn’t know to send a “thank you”/follow up note (via email or snail mail) after an interview. Do you think that’s a bad policy?
Me: That’s a terrible policy! Plenty of great candidates don’t follow up — and considering that you’re probably not contacting them since you’re ready to move forward in some way, it’s really a double standard (expecting a candidate to show more enthusiasm for you than you’re showing to them). Your hiring manager is going to lose really strong candidates by doing this, and it’s unreasonable and punitive. Are you able to convince him not to do this?
(To be clear, I encourage candidates to send follow up notes after an interview — but you certainly shouldn’t reject people for not doing it.)
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If any of you are doing this when you hire, stop it immediately, as it’s utterly ridiculous. Candidates aren’t there to kowtow to you; they’re there to mutually determine whether each side is interested in a business arrangement. Rejecting people for something like this is absurd — and isn’t going to serve you well in hiring strong candidates, which is the whole point.