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. When an applicant has questions it is appropriate for the hiring unit to answer them directly.

Responding to Applicant Inquiries for Additional Information about the Job

Hiring Managers (HM) should decide who will be the main point of contact when applicants reach out with questions. The person should know the job fairly well and understand the recruitment process so they provide useful and consistent information.

  • Information that is provided by the hiring unit to applicants may include:
    • Information about the hiring unit’s mission and goals
    • Information about the role of the position in the unit
    • Clarification of job duties
    • Clarification about the work schedule, remote work locations, or other conditions of employment

Other Applicant Inquiries

  • Hiring units may provide the following kinds of information in response to applicant inquiries:
    • Size of the pool
    • Whether the applicant pool was well qualified in general
    • Number of applicants selected for interview
    • The criteria the unit used to evaluate applicants and the general screening process followed
    • The criteria the applicant did not meet as strongly as other applicants
  • Hiring units should NOT provide the following kinds of information
    • Who else applied for the job
    • Any information about other applicants

Final Communication to non-selected applicants/candidates

  • After your selected candidate has accepted the formal job offer, you should notify interviewees not selected for hire that the position has been filled. A best practice is to notify them via phone (or in person if an internal candidate). Email is also acceptable.
  • If you did not do so earlier you should also communicate to those applicants not selected for interview that the position has been filled. The preferred method for this communication is via email.


2. Responding to Complaints

Verbal Complaints:

If an applicant calls with a complaint, ascertain the reason for the complaint and, if possible, respond to the complaint using factual, job related information. If you are unable to provide information to satisfy the applicant, you can give them the option of calling the Talent Acquisition Office or Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office with their complaint.

Written Complaints:

Written complaints often carry more weight. You should always consult with the Talent Acquisition 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 should provide information about how well they conveyed their qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience, and if they gave clear examples that demonstrated that they met the qualifications of the job. You may also provide information about whether their answers to interview questions were confusing or didn’t seem to relate to the question being asked.

  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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