In case you missed it, there was a tweet that caused a collective face-palm across the hiring community this past weekend:
Hey, I wrote something! … I’ve been hiring people for 10 years, and I still swear by a simple rule: If someone doesn’t send a thank you email, don’t hire them. https://t.co/NWXB1ozNgr
— Jessica Liebman (@jessicaliebman) April 5, 2019
Any seasoned HR or Recruiting professional would agree that there are countless benefits to sending a follow-up thank you note after an interview. When properly crafted, a thank you note reiterates your interest in a role, fosters a personal connection between you and the interviewer(s), and gives you the opportunity to address any lingering concerns regarding your candidacy.
On the other hand, an insincere thank you note full of typos may downgrade you to the “Thanks, but no thanks” pile and an over-the-top gesture might scare a hiring manager into hiding.
While most professionals agree that sending a post-interview follow-up is common courtesy, when you add frivolous barriers to your hiring process you risk coming off as a sociopathic weirdo, among other considerations:
Leave Your (Unconscious) Bias at the Door Your hiring preferences may originate from an non-malicious place, but your intent is of no value if your process results in a disparate impact against protected groups of candidates. Women more commonly practice gratitude over men, applicants with disabilities may have access issues, and individuals from differing cultures or socioeconomic backgrounds might not be privy to these assumed social norms—Don’t land yourself in the courtroom just because your ego needed to be stroked.
Thanks Goes Both Ways Job seekers carefully customize resumes and cover letters, prepare work samples, and carve out time for multiple rounds of interviews, yet often find themselves left in the dark by employers throughout the hiring process. Even after an in-person interview candidates report being “ghosted”, or receiving no feedback at all once a position has been filled—As an employer: ensure an engaging and inviting process throughout the hiring cycle and the thanks will come naturally.
It’s 2019, Not 2012…or 1950 The author mentions sharing this same advice back in 2012, which happens to be the same year I made my first hire. The hiring environment has changed dramatically over the past seven years with record lows in unemployment and continuous advancements in hiring technology (hello, Snap-plications?). In recent years the job market has shifted to become more candidate-friendly, resulting in applicants who can afford to be more selective when fielding offers—Don’t force prospective employees to jump through more hoops than necessary since it’s less likely that you have “binders full” of candidates to fall back on.
S#%t Happens Envelopes can get lost in the mailroom, e-mails get stuck in spam, and once I had a candidate go straight from his interview to meet his wife in the delivery room—Life happens. Get used to it.
I’ve been hiring people for nearly 7 years and I still swear that hiring decisions should tie back to one’s ability to perform the job—but if that’s not clickbait-y enough for you: if you’re truly excited about the role, take the time to send a thoughtful follow up—Either way, make sure you do your research on the company ahead of time to avoid the risk of joining some weird cult.