One of the most delightful parts of my job (though it's very rare) is to get in touch with people and say "yes - please do come and work for/with us" - and I'm doing some of that this afternoon. One of the toughest parts is getting in touch with candidates who we've seen, but then decided that they won't be joining our team. Some of those are good - VERY good - but not for us, and I know how tough it is looking for work sometimes and finding the role that fits; I feel for each of them.
Should I include, in each "sorry" letter, a summary of why? I've thought long and hard - whilst I would want to know, people may also consider it to be a bit of a kick in the teeth to have it laid out; I really don't want to do that to these good people - so I'm making my letter short and fairly standard - but if any of them should email me back (email@example.com) because they want to learn for future applications, I feel that it's the least I can do to give them pointers as to why they didn't fit out particular roles.
I'm looking forward - over the next week or two - to introducing you to [names to be added ;-) ] who will be broadening our team this autumn. I've got a bounce in my step - and I'm almost as excited about it as the first (to whom I've already spoken) was when I made the call.
Footnote - Added Sunday, 12th September
I've heard back from two of the candidates for whom there wasn't a place - i.e. to whom I had to send rejection letters.
"Thankyou so much for messing me about"
and the other said
"That is the nicest rejection letter (email) I have ever had! Thanks for letting me know so quickly. It was great meeting you!"
So much of it is a matter of perception, I think. Everyone was treated / interviewed in the same way - told the same thing about what the job was, and given the same timescales for decisions. And those timescales were stuck to. I'm sorry if interviewing someone to see how they would fit in and coming to the conclusion that they're not "tops" for the current role is "wasting their time" - it's an hour of my time, but not "wasted" as far as I'm concerned.
I'm keeping (with permission) some of the likely candidates' details so that if we have further requirements I can get back to them. Can you guess which of the ones I've quoted above would get a strong second chance, and which has placed herself onto the "not over my dead body" pile?
(written 2010-09-10, updated 2010-10-21)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesM301 - The Well House Manor team 
Staff Meeting - (2006-08-30) 
Welcome, Martin - (2006-10-16) 
Both one team and two - (2006-12-08) 
Meet the neighbours - (2006-12-20) 
Graham Ellis - an Introduction - (2007-02-05) 
Behind the scenes - (2007-02-17) 
Well House Manor appoints a General Manager - (2007-08-28) 
Congratulations, Martin and Marta - (2008-03-17) 
Well House Consultants / Manor - Staff - (2008-03-21) 
Carlisle High School - Class of 1973 Reunion - (2008-09-21) 
Job application - (2008-10-13) 
Team changes at Well House - looking forward - (2008-12-06) 
Short health and safety course - (2009-02-02) 
Who sticks by you in the snow? - (2009-02-05) 
The Interview and The Lift - (2009-02-12) 
Job applicants - wondering why they apply - (2010-08-16) 
An opportunity to join our team! - (2010-08-28) 
Level playing fields, job vacancies, lemons and peaches - (2010-09-05) 
A change to the Well House team - thank you and good luck, Chris - (2011-03-14) 
Are you cheerful, reliable and available on Saturday mornings? - (2011-05-30) 
Our National Autograss Champion, from Melksham - (2011-09-08) 
On getting noticed for the right reasons when you ask about job availability - (2012-09-26) 
Three cheers for the staff at Well House Manor - (2013-01-24) 
Annual Accounts - a big job for a small business - (2013-02-15) 
Happy Christmas from the Well House Manor team - (2013-12-25)
Some other Articles
On site course - travel and accommodation expensesMelksham Railway Station - new information pointRailway meetings, trips and meetups this autumnTurning an exercise into the real thing with extreme programmingConcluding the interview processLots of way of converting 3 letter month abbreviations to numbersCamilla, Duchess of Cornwall, turns first sod in Melksham Link CanalLua - variable function arguments and selectMelksham shamefully makes the national headlinesTeaching Lua to a Perl advocate