At the point a job seeker is throwing off the stress of an interview and starting to anticipate results, the human resources person processes the application based on the interview and the candidate's qualifications. Details of the processing varies widely by company, though the basic concepts apply in most HR departments.
The Successful Candidate
Through qualifications and interview performance, the HR person could decide to recommend a job seeker. Immediately after the interview, the HR person files their application and resume. Applications may be sorted by position or department, if several jobs are available. The hiring process may include several interviews, with the HR person conducting initial, or prescreening, interviews. She will then schedule the successful job seeker's follow-up interviews. When the interviewer has hiring authority, she can start new hire procedures for the successful candidate.
Upon hire, the HR person sets up the new recruit's personnel file, starting with the application, resume and any notes made through the interview process. She collects paperwork for the recruit to complete, and prepares employee manuals, company policies, health and safety training materials and any other job-related instructions. The HR person may conduct the recruit's orientation tour of the workplace, introductions to supervisors and co-workers, and administer policy training and testing.
The Unsuccessful Candidate
When the HR person decides not to recommend a job seeker for employment, she will handle the application and resume according to company policy. In some cases the file is discarded, while many companies keep files from unsuccessful applicants for a period of time. The same procedures apply when a job seeker is recommended, but does not make it through the later stages of the hiring evaluation process. Some companies will enter interviewed candidates into a database for future reference.
The workload of a contemporary HR person is such that responding to every applicant is unlikely. Progressive companies contact job seekers who make it to the interview level to advise them when the position is filled. Given the time put into the screening process, these unsuccessful candidates become a potential source of replacement options, should a new hire not work out. Following up with unsuccessful candidates improves the chances of the company remaining a desired employer.