The final stage in the selection process is to contact the successful candidate and make the job offer. Usually, you give the offer verbally and then confirm it in writing. The written offer should also include a date by which the candidate must accept or reject the offer of employment.
If you have decided to inform unsuccessful candidates, wait until the selected candidate has accepted the job offer. If your top-ranked candidate does not accept the position, you can then offer the job to the next-ranked candidate on your list.
It is best to contact unsuccessful candidates by phone. Simply tell them that another candidate more closely matched the selection criteria for the position and thank them for taking the time to apply.
For internal candidates seeking a promotion or transfer, you may choose to provide more detailed feedback, particularly on needed development areas. This will help the unsuccessful candidates better prepare themselves for future opportunities and may possibly improve their performance in their current job.