Stalker-Like Candidate Behavior? The Hand-Delivered Thank You Note…

Kris Dunn Always Be Closing, Interviewing, Kris Dunn, Recruiting

Topic – Thank You Notes….

Question #1 – Are they necessary any more?

Question #2 – Do you penalize someone for sending an email thank you over a handwritten thank youHug_it_out note?  Which do you think your hiring managers prefer?

Question #3 – How would you feel about someone showing up on your doorstep a day or two after the interview to deliver a hand-written thank you note?

From Dennis Smith at The Fordyce Letter:

"Honestly, it’s intriguing. And really, I’m just curious…since when did “the experts” stop telling candidates to send thank you notes? Sure, I say that jokingly, because, even though I’ve only been at this for 12 years, it’s pretty much been like that since I joined the recruiting ranks. The Career Coaches instruct the job-seekers to follow-up with a well-written thank-you card, and, once-in-a-blue-moon somebody will walk the road less traveled and do something that blows me away.

In this case, the candidate followed up with an email within an hour of the interview, saying that she’d be delivering an appropriate thank-you. Sure enough, the next day she stops in the office with the likes of a thank-you card that, honestly, is likely the most well-written and appropriate card I’ve ever received.

Nicely done."

Here's my take – I agree with everything Dennis says in the clip above, but I'm not sure how the rest of the world feels.   First up, it takes a special candidate to walk in and deliver a handwritten thank you note.  The main thing a candidate needs to pull that off?  The verbal skills to understand what to say when delivering the note.  If a candidate has the verbal/presentation skills to pull it off, then it's a golden opportunity.  Most don't, and that's why they don't try it.

Here's my big question – what if the manager receiving the note doesn't have the presentation/verbal skills to handle the interaction?  Is that the point where it becomes a negative for that candidate, with the socially uncomfortable manager getting the stalker vibe from the interaction where none exists?

Thoughts?  Luckily, I believe the candidate with the skills to do this would not deliver a handwritten note unless they felt a strong connection to the manager with whom they interviewed.  If the manager didn't connect (because they didn't have the connection skills), then this golden candidate probably never delivers that note, even though they have the chops and ability to pull it off.

Too bad….

Kris Dunn
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He's also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.