Dear Hiring Manager, Perhaps You Should Write the Thank You Note

You should always write a thank you note after a hiring manager takes her precious time to step down from the clouds above to allow you to beg her for a job.

Or something.

Look, I hate this. Just what are you exactly thanking the manager for? Taking the time to talk with you and consider your application for the job, right? But, what were you really doing? You were taking your time out of your day (and often using vacation time from your current job to do so) to try and solve a problem for the hiring manager.

See, just as much as you need a job, a hiring manager needs someone to fill that job. It’s not a situation where the hiring manager gets to feel all warm and fuzzy about being so gracious and kind as to actually hire someone. You won’t be hired unless you bring (or rather, you are expected to bring) value to the company.

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13 thoughts on “Dear Hiring Manager, Perhaps You Should Write the Thank You Note

  1. It’s commendable, but not realistic, to posit that hiring managers and job candidates are equals. There is a huge power disparity there, in that the hiring manager has the power to — unilaterally — determine the applicant’s success in getting a job offer. And, I dare say that any candidate who acted like they were doing the hiring manager a favor sufficient to generate the need for a thank you card would be summarily rejected.

    1. But the candidate has the power to reject that offer.

      Hiring managers have more power because there are more people than jobs (generally), but in hard to fill areas, that is different.

      And I don’t think candidates should act like they deserve a thank you note. But, managers shouldn’t act like they deserve one either.

    2. Might take a while to get the pendulum to swing back to where it should be but it IS a meeting of peers, not Dom and Sub. I can’t tell you how many hiring managers are the impediment to landing great talent rather than the impetus to landing it.

  2. Thank you. I’ve long thought this was very one-sided. I’ve worked with a several HR professionals over the years whose opinion of a candidate changed when they received or didn’t receive a thank you note. The interview process requires both the candidate and the hiring manager to adjust their schedules. It is a give and take for both, If the process is done correctly, both are interviewing the other as well, since the focus should be finding the right fit.

    1. I cannot think of a single instance where a “thank you” note has been anything but a waste of time and paper, with zero impact on hiring. That said, I have wanted send of number “no thanks” notes. On one “interview” HR had not sent my paperwork in advance, the inquisitor saw the resume when he saw me. The meeting got worse. I was repeatedly questioned if I could read the industry-specific flow chart. At least four times, I stated that was capable of learning as the unread resume clearly indicated. When the inquisitor pointed to his hapless employee and said, “After a year, this new guy is finally starting to be productive.” The guy was 2 cubes away and if possible, cringed loudly. I could not wait to escape. Thanks HR for wasting hours of my time.

    2. There is never an excuse, in any interaction, for a lack of courtesy, respect or professionalism and yet, as a “recruiter” with more than a decade in, has proven to be the rule, not the exception.

  3. I don’t need a thank-you note, but I would like it if companies stopped ghosting people they interview. I don’t expect a reply to a mere application–I know they get tons. A hiring manager may get 300 applications but they’re not going to interview 300 people. If I’ve taken the time to get dressed up (ugh), prepare for an interview, and actually come in, it’s the height of rudeness not to at least send me a generic rejection email. Don’t say “We’ll let you know either way,” or as one employer did, interview me and say “We’ll get back to you on the salary,” and then go silent. >:(

    1. Right on. If you talk to someone, or communicate in any way, you should have the courtesy, respect and professionalism to close the loop honestly and with transparency. Remember, your words and behavior will define the organization for a lot longer period of time than it takes to be courteous, respectful and professional. How do you want your company to be remembered…or, maybe you don’t care?

  4. Totally agree – no need (as I don’t expect it) for a note/email just for my resume/application.

    BUT, after I’ve taken the time to interview with someone – especially for an all day, meeting several people, interview – I do expect at least a “thanks but no thanks” note/email.

    That I didn’t get any offers from a certain institute after going through the long process for three different positions I consider myself to have dodged a bullet when I interviewed with the Head of HR for that last position and came to realize that he was the problem. He was very rude and condescending. So, yup, interviewing is a two-way street. Boy, was I glad I didn’t get any offers from them. To think that that institute allowed him, with his poor behavior, to represent them shows poor judgment on their part.

    It is my experience today that a lot of hiring managers/recruiters are finding out what I’ve been saying for the last several years – when the economy turns around (and it finally has!) they will be the ones up the creek without a paddle.

    Pardon me while I relish a little schadenfreude while they cry about not being able to find good help. Not very polite of me; but, after years of rude behavior from them I’m not in a sympathetic mood.

  5. Geez Suzanne, what are you thinking? Are you serious? Hiring managers / employers don’t have time to be all touchy – feely with job applicants. Even when they have “critical skills” people should be begging to work and conform to the employer’s wishes in every instance. Every instance. Oh sure, I know, the chosen candidate may turn down the offer or bail after a couple of weeks, but you don’t have to have a back-up waiting in the wings … you can simply start the job search all over again and spend another month or two (or three) looking for another candidate; you don’t have anything else going on, right? And don’t even worry about the reputation you’re building with all those applicants that don’t get selected – I mean seriously, how much harm can a couple of hundred people do to your reputation as they tell about their recent encounter with your company. And if you have to hire two or three new folks in the next three or four months, well, so what if you ghosted everyone who applied to your first job (who were qualified) … that’s what job advertisements are for, right, to find the next batch of workers who have to be screened, vetted, interviewed, interviewed again, background checked, and enticed with even bigger salaries. What’s next? Are you going to recommend that employers accept someone who is 80 percent ready to go and can learn the rest in a couple of months instead of spending six or more months looking for a purple squirrel? Come on, this is 2018, and we all know the perfect candidate is out there somewhere if we just keeping throwing out advertisements on more and more job boards. I’m worried about you Suzanne, I think you’ve been overseas just a little too long. Employers sending thank you notes? Get real, girl.

  6. Please include that thank you note with the notice of not accepting the job applicant for the job. That would work a whole lot better than the quick carbon copy acknowledgement that application is being held on file which actually means that circular file that all unacceptable applications go. Like someone one else stated this is not a typical Evil HR article but a way off based wishful thinking.

  7. I’m very glad that thank-you notes aren’t a thing in the UK. I’ve had them very, very occasionally when hiring, but they are rare enough that they stand out as a rather odd thing.

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