Can we talk about the whole “thank you note” kerfuffle? The absurdity of it all. I mean, seriously, you won’t hire someone who doesn’t send a thank you note? Ok, well, good luck to you and your old school nonsense. It’s going to be pretty hard to sustain or grow a business who goes out there to say, you know what…this whole thank you note thing is THE deal breaker. People have Google after all and that post will certainly come up when it comes to candidates doing research. And if the job is just SO PERFECT, I suppose they will send a thank you note. But, there will be a group of people who are like, p*ss off with your thank you letter.
On the flip side, I have written countless thank you notes to people I interviewed with, both hand written on cards and via email, and not once did the employer write me back to say thanks for my time. And here we are…why I think this is a metaphor for all the things that are broken in the hiring process. We consistently expect more of the candidates than we are willing to give them. This completely fraudulent power trip employers get on is the height of not only absurdity, but hypocrisy as well.
We expect talent to do the most insane things for the chance to get a job. Sift through all the BS on the career site, set up and remember a user name and password (a hard one, too), give up their social security number, date of birth, home (and mobile) phone number, answer screen after screen of questions, clear the calendar of your full time job for a phone screen, do it again for a day-long interview. Meet with 6 people in 6 hours and don’t be late. And for the love of God, send me a thank you note. Basically, give me everything and maybe we will give you a job. Oh, and by the way, if we offer you the job and a true picture of what you’ll be doing and what it’s like to work here, HA – GOT YOU…you need to stay for at last 2 years, or we will label you a “job hopper” and our peers will scrutinize you even harder.
What do the candidates get? Do they get a real picture of what it’s like to work for you, to do this job? Do they make the employer cough up their financial records, manager mental health records? Do they get a thank you note? Nope. They just get the job. And again, hopefully it is the job as sold.
What makes me so irritated by all of this is the constant mantra I hear from my customers and peers, “We just can’t seem to attract and convert the right people.” Um, see above. Who’s going to voluntarily subject themselves to this?
But, by all means, boot the person who failed to send a thank you note. But please, stop wondering where all the good people are. They are out there. They’re just fed up with the experience that’s been created.