My philosophy is simple: I look at candidates as an “asset” and someone that I want to build a relationship with. I know that candidates realize that I am just the conduit between them and the company and that the company makes the final determination on how they want to hire. However, my goal is to keep the candidates as informed as possible. If I cannot help them with this particular job; it is possible that I can help them in the future (even years down the road). With technology the way it is today, it is pretty simple to stay in touch with candidates if you want to make the effort and value the relationship.
Excellent communication with candidates not only builds goodwill with your candidate base, but it also serves to build your brand. Hopefully, this will stay in the mind of a candidate if you ever reach out to them in the future.