This week on the influential recruiting and HR industry blog Fistful of Talent, blogger and HR Director, Steve Gifford tackled the sensitive issue of rejection letters, those notifications that some organizations send to provide closure to candidates.

In the article, Steve writes:

“Now, you may notice that I’ve got a good handle on the amount of traffic coming onto my careers site.  We use Newton Software for applicant tracking software, which was profiled in FOT a few years back.  I can’t say enough good things about these guys; hiring managers thank me for this system almost weekly, and the credit is due to Joel’s team.  All this storytelling is to tell you this: Every single rejected candidate in Newton gets an email when they’re rejected.  No black hole, no wondering – there is a follow-through, at very least.

Because of this, I have a dummy “careers” account that originates these emails.  I check it every few weeks, just to make sure nothing critical went into the account.  And, I get responses.  Here are four of them, across the spectrum.

Thanks for considering me for the warehouse position. If you find that I may of value to your company please contact me.

See, that’s actually very nice!  He didn’t have to do that, but these things get saved forever, so it can’t hurt.  The bulk of the emails I get are along these lines.

Thank you for the short time you spent on my resume’.

OK, that’s fair. Steve Boese’s statistic about six seconds per resume is about right for how I go through them.  What’s more, I have Newton open on my desktop pretty much all the time.  If I don’t quite want to start something new, I’ll browse through resumes for a few minutes.  The newest applicants go to the top, so I occasionally reject someone who only applied a few minutes ago.  This particular emailer applied at 8:30 AM, and got my email at 3:30 PM, but can be forgiven for thinking that no one had actually looked at their resume.  In fact, I did look at it, and looked at it again for this piece.  I was right the first time, they didn’t have the credentials I needed for that job; but I get where they’re coming from.”

Rejection letters aren’t new. Newton just deals with them more thoughtfully.

Listen, automated rejection letters (we call them Thank You Letters) aren’t a new thing. But, having tried use these features ourselves over the years as corporate recruiters, we felt it was time to reinvent them.

Newton users like Steve Gifford, quickly and easily send automatic, stage-specific thank you letters to any candidate that applies to or interviews for any job without additional administrative work. And, best of all, the feature is smart so you’ll know if applicants are assigned to other jobs or have received previous thank you messages. Our product team spent a lot of time working on the experience (both employer and applicant), the interface, the workflow, and the efficiency of this feature. Many variations and hundreds of little tweaks later, we get a ton of positive feedback regarding this feature in Newton.


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