how can we get people to stop applying for every open position we have? — Ask a Manager

here are the 10 best questions to ask your job interviewer — Ask a Manager

how can we get people to stop applying for every open position we have?

A reader writes:

My organization receives hundreds of applications from candidates looking to fill our vacant positions. Hiring can be a very time-consuming process.

How can I get applicants to stop applying if we have already declined them multiple times? There are various reasons for this. Some of the applicants have had negative references and we do not want to give out that information. We always tell references that their references are confidential, and we want to honor that. Other times they have not returned calls for screens and interviews. In that case, we usually tell them and they argue with us about why they deserve another chance. A few will apply every time we post a job and then will reapply for the job every time they get the rejection letter until the job is no longer posted.

One candidate threatened to sue us for not giving her an interview and has since been reapplying and leaving messages on everyone’s voicemail every month. Another has not shown up for his interviews three times, and he continues to reapply even though we explained to him that we would not move forward for that reason. Then there are those who just applying over and over again and we just don’t think they are a good fit. At times, what these applicants are doing feels like harassment. If I can give them feedback, I definitely do. It’s just not always possible. We’ve even rewritten our rejection letter specifically for applicants who we’ve already rejected multiple times in hopes they will get the message that we will not be moving forward with them.

How do we tell them to stop applying, that they will never be considered, and that we won’t be giving them a reason no matter how hard they press or argue?

I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

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