There's been several discussions come and go about responding to all candidates (if you can), even the ones that aren't desireable.  I try to get back to each person and let them know Thanks, but.... you have a great background, but....  I've gotten a lot of responses thanking me for taking the time to let them know that the resume was received and understand our requirements.  I remember my days of searching and knowing that once I clicked send, I would never really know if it was received or even reviewed. This way they know I took a moment to look at theirs. I've been getting more, "Thank you for your resonse, BUT, let me tell you this... Usually I stop to read their response and attempt to change my mind but it still doesn't fit the requirement that my manager needs. 


I just wonder if others out there are finding more and more candidates trying to do the same thing.  How do you address it then? I have not been responding to those emails and feel guilty but it's hard enough to do the initial repsonse to everyone without having to defend my judgement and engage with those candidates. I know there could be a time when I overlook something but the majority of the time, this isn't it. 

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Tracy, I just posted a comment in another post about communicating with candidates. If you have already expressed that you are not moving forward with them, then I think that is sufficient. You sound like you are being considerate enough to acknowledge people, and it doesn't seem like you should feel guilty about not answering every single additional email they choose to send you after you have already told them the status.


If you do not have an automated tracking and response system (ATS) that automatically responds to all job applicants--thanking them for applying and the fact that they will be contacted only IF there is interest in them...PERIOD--get one.  Otherwise just dedicate your time and energy to the best qualified job applicants and shut down the spigot when you have sufficient numbers to go forward with your interview process.

Do not feel obligated to have to respond to the "unqualified" job applicants.  Focus on the qualified ones and go after the top end of that group--otherwise you will get "clingers" and "stalkers" and "precious time wasters" that will bury you with their agenda. 

For the chasers that track you down and know where you live...assure them that they are in your resume data base (make sure they are) that will sort them out against any matching openings, along with all the other "qualified" job applicants.  And if they make the cut...they will be contacted...thanks again for applying...goodbye....sign-off.

They'll go away when you stop returning their calls.

Tracy, Candidates that are unemployed, some employed as well, are always a little more desperate to take a second kick-at-the-can after sending them a polite no thank you reply to their application. Happens to me daily as I always attempt to respond to all applicants.


If they do reply to the initial email I will normally respond with "Thanks for getting back to me again and I will take your comments into consideration. I wish you all the best in your current search and if something more suitable comes up in the future we will be in touch." This normally is sufficient for them to stop the hounding.

Our ATS allows us to create and save messages so this does not take much time at all in my day.



Stuart Musson
Career Transition Specialist @ TalentLab Inc.

Great answer Stuart,

"Thanks for getting back to me again and I will take your comments into consideration. I wish you all the best in your current search and if something more suitable comes up in the future we will be in touch."


I'm going to have to borrow that! 

Tracy...Please do use it as it works very well....


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