Candidate Email Automation Disasters: Thanks, But No Thanks

Katrina Kibben ATS, candidate experience, Communication, Recruiting

Know what makes our industry look bad? Most candidate email automation, but especially saying “thanks, but no thanks” as an automatic reply to a job. We know candidates are putting it all on the line. I mean, no one wakes up and decides to quit their corporate jobs with great benefits and bonuses. 

It takes vulnerability. Risk. That “change” thing we all fear so much. 

Yet, we send the same shit every time – regardless of progress, qualifications, or much else. Thanks, but no thanks emails are dispatched immediately after you apply, proving that no person reviews resumes, even if the template says so. That’s the same email that comes after you’ve done six interviews or six months have passed. It isn’t very pleasant, really. 

You know the one – it goes like this. 


Thank you for your application. Unfortunately, this role was not a fit for your background. We appreciate your time. 

That’s fine if you’re not a numbers person. But I like to play my odds when it comes to candidate email automation. 

When you look at your automated email spread i.e., how many emails are sent of each type? This is the most sent email. Now that 40 million+ people are unemployed, that number is only going to increase.  

Do you want to terrorize folks with another template? 

Thanks, Let Me Help: Create A Candidate Email Automation FAQ Guide

Thanks, but no thanks shouldn’t be a bad experience. A straightforward way to make it better? Be helpful first.

Your company isn’t a good fit for everyone, so yes. You’ll still send the shitty template. But, you can send it in a week. Instead, the first email you’ll send is a job seeker FAQ guide. Here’s how you’ll create one. It’s easy.

Call five of your high-volume hiring managers. Ask each of them to send you the three questions they’re asked most often during interviews. Then, have them give you the answers. 

Here’s the most critical part: ask them to record their answers, and transcribe this information. People get intimidated by the idea of writing. You’ll get more natural and informative answers with their natural language recording. 

Share this document with your marketing team to package it in an attractive and branded way, and then get that bad boy up on your career site.

Offer that feedback upfront to soften the blow when you inevitably send the template to 99% of folks later.