Fair Hiring Guide

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Topic: Applicant Communications

1. General Communications

Prompt, effective and clear communications with applicants are key to maintaining good community relations and ensuring that well qualified people want to work at the campus. Contrary to popular belief, all communications with applicants do not have to be funneled through the Employment Office. If a verbal inquiry or complaint is received by the Unit, it is often more effective for the Unit to handle the initial response.

Responding to Applicant Inquiries for Additional Information about the Job

Part of the process of finalizing the recruitment strategy will include determining what approach you wish to take regarding providing additional information and who the contact will be. All applicants who make similar inquiries should receive consistent information.

  • Information that is provided by the Unit to applicants may include:

    • Copy of the full job description

    • Organizational Chart

    • Information about the Unit’s mission and goals

    • Clarification about the work schedule or other special conditions of employment

Respond to Other Applicant Inquiries

  • Units may provide the following kinds of information in response to applicant inquiries:

    • Size of the pool

    • General characteristics of the pool

    • Number of applicants selected for interview

    • The criteria the unit used to evaluate applicants and the general process followed

    • The criteria the applicant did not meet as strongly as other applicants

  • Units should not provide the following kinds of information

    • Who else applied for the job

    • Any information about individual applicants

Final Communication

  • After your selected candidate has accepted the position, you should notify applicants who were interviewed but not selected that the position has been filled.

  • If you did not do so earlier in the process you should also communicate to those applicants referred but not selected for interview or alternate that the position has been filled. You can do this either by phone or by letter.


2. Responding to Complaints

Verbal Complaints:

If an applicant phones in a complaint, ascertain the reason for the complaint and, if possible, respond to the complaint using factual, job related information. If it is not possible for you to respond to the applicant’s satisfaction, you can give the applicant the option of calling the Employment Office or Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office with their complaint.

Written Complaints:

You should always consult with the Employment Office prior to responding to any written complaint. If the complaint alleges discrimination contact the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What can I say if an applicant asks for feedback on their interview?

    • You can provide information, which is related to their qualifications, and how those qualifications were evaluated. Avoid providing any information that is not job-related and was not considered in the evaluation of the interviewees.

  2. Is it appropriate to suggest to an unsuccessful candidate who asks what they could do differently in the future that they might benefit from participating in an interviewing skills workshop?

    • This could be appropriate if you can give the candidate an example from the interview where it seemed from the application that they had a certain level of experience or skill but when it came to conveying it in the interview they had difficulty responding effectively to the interview questions. A suggestion that an interviewing skills workshop might provide them with some useful tools to assist them in conveying their skills and experiences more effectively in an interview situation could be helpful.

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Revised November 2006: C.20