We were hiring a couple months ago. There was someone I interviewed that seemed like a top-notch developer, and that I thought would be a good fit. However, he was on the other side of the US and we decided (at the time) that we wanted to stick with local candidates for a number of reasons. As a result, I told him that he was a great candidate but that we decided to focus on more local people, and thanked him for his time. He took the email well and was very gracious in response.
We're hiring again, and now we are more interested in top-notch developers and more flexible about things like relocation. I would like to see if he is still on the job hunt (he had been on the job search for a while, and so it seems likely he may still be). The trouble though is that I shredded all of my notes from the first job hunt. I can't look back through my emails because management changed my email address, and all past emails are permanently gone. My only other source of information is the original job posting from a couple months ago, from which I have narrowed "him" down to one of two people, on the basis of his nationality (I remember distinctly that he was Asian with an Asian name, and I interviewed two Asian people).
Not only do I not want to accidentally contact the wrong person, but I know I specifically don't want to contact this particular wrong person. I remember turning down the other asian candidate. He was not as skilled as what we were looking for, and after his interview I politely turned him down and gave him some feedback on his candidacy, from my perspective (something I always make sure to do). He took the news very poorly, and tried to argue with me about the decision. I ignored his response and didn't let it turn into an argument.
So I would really like to reconnect with this candidate, but it seems I have no way of figuring out for sure which candidate I actually want to reconnect with. It seems therefore that I have a 50/50 chance of getting the very wrong person. Is there anyway to potentially salvage this situation, or should I just move on with my life? My general experience from trying to hire people in the last few months is that finding good candidates is tough to do, so I would rather not lose a potential valuable candidate if I don't have to. I feel like I'm stuck in a real life version of the ol' knights and knaves puzzle.