I sent more than 500 rejections this week.

Jaded recruiters will tell you recruiting is a numbers game. 
Jaded candidates will tell you the same.

This week, after closing several positions at Ephesoft that are very popular, I had to send more than 500 people rejection notices.

Well, I didn’t have to.

I could have just pretended nothing had happened, pulled the job offline and ghosted them all when they asked for feedback.

Or, I could have lied to them and told them we just decided not to hire the role that they applied for.

From Monday to now (Wednesday) this week, I have sent hundreds of emails and received hundreds of responses and many tens of phone calls asking for feedback. I have tried to reply to every one of those in a meaningful and productive manner. Not everyone who has asked has received a response, but I am hoping to have that done before Monday next week (likely working late into Saturday or even Sunday to get that done, I will expect).

Why am I killing myself to reply to them all? Simple:

That is how I would like to be treated.

Especially one thing I am trying to do — write personalized rejection messages to as many people as I can through the process. The truth is that I can’t do that for everyone, but I do try to personalize my messaged and hand-write them for all candidates who have had at least one interview with us. Since the messages come from our system (SmartRecruiters) sometimes, the formatting gets wonky, and sometimes it feels spammy because of the way that mailmerge works, but I have a template I use in the system that pre-fills the email address, subject and the name for me and my signature — I write the rest.

Beyond that, I am trying to send notices, however brief to everyone who even applied for a role with us if the role is being pulled for some reason.

A lot of recruiters I talk to think this is a waste of time, and for some, it may be. But still,

This is how I would like to be treated.

So I send them.

Under my own name, even. Not the void called “Hiring Team” which hides behind the talk-to-the-hand-like noreply@company email address… and candidates can reply and say anything they want to me.

And they do!

The shocking thing is that I have received, in the mix, some pretty hateful replies, too. More than one candidate thinks I am at a body-shop spamming them from overseas for jobs that don’t really exist (they forgot they applied here). Others have simply told me to take a long walk off a short pier… in more colorful language.

Yet, the vast majority reply and thank me for just updating them that their time spent wasn’t a complete waste, that an actual human over here made contact with them, and that their resume wasn’t consumed by the robot overlords of HR blackholeness or something.

I think it’s because the vast majority like to be treated like a person, not a cog or a product.

Because I treat them how I’d like to be treated.

And it seems to be working, except for that one guy in Minnesota that seems to be very mad at me for telling him he’s not getting the job. 😬