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Contacting Past Job Candidates Process Template

Use this template to teach your team the process of contacting past job candidates effectively. Explore reasons for re-engaging, criteria for re-contact, communication strategies, documentation, and tracking.

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Contacting Past Job Candidates Process Template

Use this template to teach your team the process of contacting past job candidates effectively. Explore reasons for re-engaging, criteria for re-contact, communication strategies, documentation, and tracking.


Why We Have this Process

At our company, we have implemented a formal process for contacting past job candidates to maximize our talent acquisition efforts and reinforce our reputation as an employer of choice. Recognizing the value of the relationships formed during the hiring process, this approach allows us to maintain a strong connection with talented individuals who have already shown interest and potential in joining our team. 

Whether for future job vacancies, networking events, or professional development opportunities, re-engaging past candidates keeps our company top of mind and enhances our recruitment pool with pre-vetted prospects. Moreover, this process aids in gathering valuable feedback, enabling continuous improvement of our recruitment strategies and candidate experience. 

By staying connected with past candidates, we not only broaden our talent resources but also demonstrate a commitment to respecting and valuing the professional journeys of all individuals who express interest in our company.

Criteria for Re-engagement

Reasons for Re-engaging Candidates

Re-engaging past job candidates can serve multiple strategic purposes for a company. Here’s a list of reasons why we might choose to reconnect with previous applicants:

  1. New Job Openings: Informing past candidates about new roles that align with their skills and experience, especially if they were strong contenders in previous rounds.
  2. Talent Pool Expansion: Keeping our talent pool vibrant and up-to-date by including candidates who have previously shown potential and interest in the company.
  3. Networking Opportunities: Inviting past candidates to company networking events, webinars, or industry conferences to keep them engaged and informed about the company and its culture.
  4. Company Updates: Sharing updates about the company, such as new projects, achievements, or changes in leadership that might interest them and encourage them to reconsider opportunities at the company.
  5. Feedback on Hiring Process: Soliciting feedback from candidates about their interview experience to identify areas of improvement in our recruitment process.
  6. Professional Development: Offering past candidates access to workshops, training sessions, or mentorship programs that may benefit their professional growth.
  7. Reinforcing Employer Brand: Demonstrating continued interest and respect for candidates by keeping in touch, reinforcing the company’s reputation as a considerate and desirable employer.
  8. Seasonal or Project-based Hiring: Contacting previous applicants for temporary, seasonal, or project-based roles that suit their profile.
  9. Referral Requests: Encouraging past candidates to refer other qualified individuals, expanding our recruitment outreach through trusted networks.
  10. Cultural Fit Reassessment: Re-engaging candidates who may not have been a perfect fit previously but could integrate well into the company culture due to changes in the team or company dynamics.

By maintaining contact with past candidates for these reasons, we not only enhance our recruitment strategy but also build a robust community around its brand, fostering long-term relationships that could benefit both the company and the candidates.

Eligible Candidates for Re-contact

We have clearly defined criteria to determine which past job candidates are eligible for re-contact, ensuring that our efforts are targeted and efficient. This selection process is designed to identify individuals who have previously demonstrated strong potential and alignment with our company’s needs and culture.

Eligible Candidates for Re-contact Include:

  1. Finalists: Candidates who reached the final stages of the interview process but were not selected for the role. These individuals have already demonstrated considerable fit and competency.
  2. Skill-Specific Candidates: Those who possess unique or highly specialized skills relevant to evolving needs within the company, even if they were not finalists in previous processes.
  3. Engaged Candidates: Individuals who actively engaged during the recruitment process, such as those who followed up consistently or expressed continued interest in being part of the company.
  4. Candidates Recommended for Future Opportunities: Those specifically noted by hiring managers or interviewers as strong candidates for potential future openings.

By maintaining a structured approach to identifying and re-engaging these candidates, we can efficiently tap into a pre-vetted talent pool, reducing hiring times and leveraging prior investments in the recruitment process. This practice not only enhances our staffing strategy but also reinforces positive relations with skilled professionals who are already familiar with our company’s operations and values.

Timeframe Considerations

Our approach to re-engaging past job candidates involves careful consideration of timing to maximize effectiveness and maintain respectful communication. Typically, candidates are reconsidered for outreach within six to 12 months following their last engagement with our recruitment process. 

This timeframe allows for significant developments in both the candidates' careers and our organizational needs. For candidates associated with rapidly evolving fields or technologies, shorter intervals may be appropriate. Regular updates to our candidate database ensure that we are aware of any new qualifications or changes in the availability of candidates, enabling timely and relevant re-engagement strategies.

Communication Strategy

Communication Guidelines

We maintain specific communication guidelines to ensure our interactions with past job candidates are professional, respectful, and aligned with our brand values. Here’s how we manage these communications:

  1. Communication Method: Depending on the candidate's preferences, we use professional channels such as email, LinkedIn, or, less frequently, phone calls. Emails are crafted with a clear, respectful tone and include a personal touch to remind the candidate of their previous interactions with our company.
  2. Content of Communication: Messages to past candidates should reaffirm their value to our company, even if they were not selected previously. The content should be specific about why they are being contacted, whether for a new job opportunity, a networking event, or feedback requests. Transparency about the reasons for reaching out fosters trust and openness.
  3. Frequency of Contact: To avoid overwhelming or appearing too aggressive, communications are spaced appropriately. If candidates are not immediately interested, we may ask for permission to keep in touch periodically, typically suggesting a semi-annual check-in unless more immediate opportunities arise.
  4. Opt-Out Option: Every communication provides an easy and clear way for candidates to opt out of future contacts, respecting their preferences and ensuring compliance with data protection regulations.
  5. Documentation: All communications are documented. This practice helps track the history of interactions, providing context for any future communications and ensuring consistency in our engagement efforts.

By adhering to these guidelines, we can maintain a professional and courteous dialogue with past candidates, enhancing our reputation as an employer of choice and building a sustainable talent community.

To aid you in adhering to our communication standards, here are some templates for common communications we send to past candidates (click to the ‘Next Step!’):

Email Template: New Job Opportunity Email to Past Candidates

This email template was created by recruiting software and hiring platform Workable.

Email subject line: New job opportunity at [Company_name] / Interested in a new job opportunity with [Company_name]?

Hi [Candidate_Name],

I am [your name], [your job_title] at [Company_name]. We met [e.g. recently / around 2 months ago], when you applied for the [Job_title] position. [It’s best if you add something memorable from the last time you communicated and give a personal touch, like ‘I hope your graduation day was fun!’, ‘I remember you were looking for a new apartment at that time. How did the house hunt go?’]

Although we decided to move forward with another candidate for the [Job_title] position, due to [You could mention exactly the reason why the were rejected, e.g. lack of experience, overqualified or strong competition], your profile really stood out and we’ve kept you in mind for future openings. [You could point out what you specifically liked about the candidate e.g. strong portfolio, positive interview experience or a great approach to a previous assignment.]

We are currently looking to hire a [Job_title] and we believe your skills and expertise are a better match for this role. We are opening a new position for the [Job_title] role you previously applied for and we think you could be a good fit.

Would you be available for a quick call [include date and time or a period of time, e.g. ‘sometime this week’] to talk about our new position? I would also be happy to coordinate via email or LinkedIn, if you prefer.

I hope you have a great day,

[Your name]

Email Template: Keep Candidates Warm

This email template was created by recruiting software and hiring platform Workable.

Email subject line: Update on the [Job_title] position/ Your application at [Company_name] for the [Job_title] position

Hi [Candidate_Name] / Dear [Candidate_Name],

I hope all is well with you. I wanted to check in and update you about the status of your application for the [Job_title] position.

[Hiring manager_Name/Our hiring manager] is currently reviewing all [assignments/applications] and we’re expecting to schedule on-site interviews by the end of the next week. I will contact you again as soon as I have any news.

In the meantime, please feel free to reach me via email or at [e.g. 1-444-555-2222], if you have any questions.

All the best / Kind regards,

[Your name]

Documentation and Tracking

Communication and Outcome Records 

Meticulous documentation and tracking of communications with past job candidates are crucial components of our recruitment strategy. This process ensures consistency, compliance, and valuable insights for future hiring practices.

  1. Candidate Management System: All communications with candidates are recorded in a centralized candidate management system. This includes details such as the date of communication, the method used (email, phone, LinkedIn), the purpose of the contact, and any responses received.
  2. Update Candidate Profiles: After each communication, the candidate’s profile is updated to reflect new information or changes in their career status, availability, or interest level. This helps keep our data current and accurate, facilitating targeted future engagements.
  3. Tracking Outcomes: For each re-engagement effort, the outcome is documented. Whether a candidate is moved forward in the hiring process, declines interest, or requests to be removed from our contact list, tracking these outcomes helps us measure the effectiveness of our re-contact strategies.
  4. Review and Reporting: Regular reviews of communication logs and outcome tracking are conducted to assess the effectiveness of our engagement efforts. Insights gained from these reviews guide adjustments in our communication strategies and help improve overall recruitment processes.

This structured approach to documentation and tracking not only enhances our efficiency and compliance but also significantly improves our ability to make informed decisions based on historical data.


Have Questions?

In conclusion, our process for contacting past job candidates is a critical component of our strategic talent management. By maintaining detailed documentation and adhering to strict communication guidelines, we ensure a professional and respectful engagement with potential talent. This approach not only enhances our recruitment pipeline but also strengthens our reputation as an employer of choice. 

For any questions regarding the process or for further clarification on best practices, please reach out to the head of HR.

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