People love to feel valued. For job-seekers, it’s the single most important factor in helping them separate great workplaces from average ones.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? If you apply to a dozen jobs, you might not remember every phone call or email you have with all of them. But you’ll definitely remember how each of them made you feel.

As a recruiter, it’s your job to bridge the link between candidate and employer. You help create the favorable conditions and environment that lead to a positive candidate experience. But sometimes you need a little help finding the right words to make that happen.

So here are five useful templates to boost your candidate experience starting NOW:

Turning down a candidate who’s done well but isn’t a good fit

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for applying for the position of Senior Manager at Brand X. It’s been my pleasure to guide you through the evaluation process so far.

Regretfully, we have decided to pursue alternative options and are no longer considering your candidacy for this role.

Your interviewers were highly impressed with your aptitude and attitude during their interactions with you. As a candidate, you’ve helped make being a recruiter a genuine pleasure. Unfortunately, we don’t believe that this relationship is the best fit for everyone.

I invite you to re-apply for similar and new roles at Brand X in the future. In the meantime, if can act as a reference or be of assistance in another way, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

I wish you the best of luck in your job search.

Recommending a candidate for a different role at your company

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for applying for the position of Senior Manager at Brand X. It’s been my pleasure to guide you through the evaluation process so far.

After speaking with your interviewers and hiring manager, we believe that you would be more suited for the position of Senior Project Manager. You can find the job description for this role here.

We believe that your crisis management skills and attention to detail are better aligned with the expectations of this position and are excited about the possibility of continuing this conversation.

If you’d like to move forward with candidacy for Senior Project Manager, please reach out to me in the next 5 business days. I’m hopeful that you’ll be interested!

Referring a candidate to a role at a different company

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for applying for the position of Senior Manager at Brand X. It’s been my pleasure to guide you through the evaluation process so far.

Having spoken to your interviewers and hiring manager, I regret to inform you that we do not believe this is the right fit for everyone. Therefore, we have decided not to continue with your candidacy for this position.

However, we do believe that your direct approach and never-say-die attitude could make you suitable for the role of Senior Manager at Brand Y. This position is being managed by Recruiter Two.

If you’re interested in applying for this job, I would be only too happy to make an introduction and recommendation!

Letting a candidate know you need more time to proceed to the next phase

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your patience following your panel discussion with Interviewer 1, Interviewer 2 and Interviewer 3.

I know that I told you I would have an update for you on our next steps by today, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like that will be possible. Something urgent has come up, requiring Interviewer 2 to travel out of town.

However, I did want to write to you and let you know you’re still in consideration for the role of Senior Manager. We just need a little more time to complete your evaluation and come back to you with the way forward.

I expect that I should be able to have an answer for you in the next 7-10 business days and would appreciate your understanding on the matter. In the meantime, if there are any questions I can answer to help you better understand where things stand, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Looking forward to re-connecting soon!

Asking rejected candidates to fill out a feedback survey

Dear Candidate,

Recruiter One here from Brand X. I hope you’re doing well.

A little over a month ago, we interacted over a couple of weeks when you applied for the role of Senior Manager at our organization. While it wasn’t the right fit at the time, my colleagues and I found you to be insightful, attentive and fair in your approach to work.

I’ve put together a quick survey designed to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of hiring process. We hope you’ll share your feedback and help us identify opportunities to improve the way we interact with future candidates.

And if you are still searching for new opportunities, we have a number of new positions open at Brand X. You can view the full list and apply to any that interest you here.

Why do these templates work?

You could dive into the science behind linguistics and dissect each word with respect to email etiquette, but there’s one simple reason these templates do the job. They treat candidates like people.

Here’s how these templates achieve their objective:

  • They’re honest. They don’t use half-truths or misrepresent facts and situations.

  • They’re direct. They avoid flowery language and don’t make candidates play guessing games.

  • They’re communicative. They all initiate dialogue and leave space for candidates to have say.

  • They’re positive. They highlight the good in candidates and offer solutions whenever possible.

  • They’re empathetic. They understand no one likes being rejected and so deliver the message with tact.