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I wrote to a candidate back in February and never got any response (not a "no thanks" or an "interested", just silence). I would like to write this candidate again, six months later, to see whether he is interested in us (maybe he missed my first message in a busy inbox for example). However StackOverflow just tells me I have already written him and I can't do so again.

I understand that I shouldn't be able to bombard the candidate with repeated daily messages. But six months later, surely the original is stale, and I should be able to try again?

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Employers should be able to freely communicate with candidates.

If I was looking for a job on a particular site and an employer wanted to communicate with me again (i.e., they are interested), I would be very annoyed if they couldn't contact me!

I understand that sending multiple communications to a candidate could be done in error, but it should still be allowed if the employer chooses.

What I would suggest is changing the error to a warning. Something like "You have already communicated with this candidate, most recently on <timestamp>. Are you sure you want to send them another message?"

In terms of rate-limiting, something like 1 message per month would be fine. (I gather these types of communications are supposed to be one-way to encourage a conversation via e-mail/phone/whatever.)

Another idea, which could be combined with the first, would be to have the same "You last contacted this candidate on <timestamp>", plus maybe "You can contact this candidate again in n days" appear in search results and/or on a candidate's page directly. (Note: I don't have access to the employer pages, so I'm guessing this isn't on there already.)

That way the employer could see when they contacted a candidate at a glance instead of attempting to send a message only to find out they have to wait a few more days.

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The warning is a great suggestion - thanks Jon! – Korneel Bouman Jul 6 '10 at 15:43
@Korneel: Thanks! I updated my answer with a second suggestion. – Jon Seigel Jul 8 '10 at 17:45
@Jon Seigel I got hit from the same employer six times. It was annoying. At that point the employer is just spamming and hoping someone will respond, instead of carefully reading the CVs and determining which to move forward with. That's why I'm glad the limit is in place. I don't think an employer should be able to contact someone more than twice per month, tops. – George Stocker Jul 8 '10 at 17:59
@George: Given the OP's request, how was what you experienced even possible? Was the limit put on recently? Moreover, I don't understand why you disagree with my vague suggestion of "1 message per month" (which is obviously up for negotiation) when you just said "twice per month, tops" would be acceptable. I'm very confused. – Jon Seigel Jul 8 '10 at 18:12
@Jon I disagree with the statement "Employers should be able to freely communicate with candidates.". This limit wasn't always on there; (I know because I was a victim of the non-limit). It was put into place sometime after an employer used it to spam the same message about 6 times to me. – George Stocker Jul 8 '10 at 18:43
@George: Okay, fair enough. Maybe what might be more effective is a lower rate limit threshold combined with an ability for candidates to "reject" (i.e., ignore) certain employers. – Jon Seigel Jul 8 '10 at 19:00

This change has been implemented and will be live shortly. After 14 days, you will be able to send a message to a candidate you have an unresponded message to. If you have messaged the candidate you are viewing before, we now show you the last message date.

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Agreed! This is something we're aware of, and it's on the road map for future implementation (the exact shape and form still tbd).

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