As a recruiter I have always believed that everyone you meet is a potential client and charities probably have the same approach! Everyone you meet is a potential supporter, volunteer, donor or even beneficiary.
This is particularly relevant when dealing with applicants, we ask them to invest a huge amount of time and emotional energy in their job applications, and typically they will apply for four or five jobs before finding the right one.
As recruitment processes become more complex and lengthy, this requires considerable time spent on research, writing cv’s and completing application forms and then more research and preparation of presentation(s) for interview(s).
Charities, should take this opportunity to nurture positive relationships with applicants. Of course, only one person can be offered the job, but you want ALL the other candidates to feel they have had a positive experience and be left with warm thoughts about your organisation, maybe even being engaged enough to volunteer but certainly, at the very least, to talk about your charity in a positive manner to others. So, when giving feedback to unsuccessful candidates, don’t forget to acknowledge their time and effort and make your appreciation known. I always do this as a matter or course on behalf of my clients, but I know that sometimes organisations are so relieved to have found the right person for their role, they can forget those applicants who weren’t successful.