A client recently asked my opinion on candidates sending Thank You notes after an interview. She was taught to always send a hand-written note after an interview but asked if I thought an emailed Thank You from a candidate was sufficient. She went on to say that when she doesn’t get a Thank You it feels like the candidate isn’t very interested in the position.

To be clear, this is not another article about how sending an email Thank You is just as impactful as a hand-written note. My personal opinion on that topic, like my client’s opinion, is to use good manners and send a hand-written note. However, in this current economic climate, with unemployment at 3.6 percent and over 7.5 million open positions, who should be sending the Thank You notes?

We are in a candidate-driven market. Candidates have more power due to simple economics of supply and demand. This is why companies are increasing salaries, enhancing benefits, allowing employees to work remotely, and offering tons of perks like “Free Lunch Fridays”. So, with all the emphasis on catering to candidates and attracting talent, why are we stuck in a world where THEY have to thank US for our time?

As hiring managers, we’re paid to hire! We don’t have to request vacation time to conduct interviews or risk being fired for speaking to a candidate who works for a competitor. We aren’t traveling across the country for an interview or lying to our boss about having yet another “dentist appointment”. When you think about it, the candidate is assuming all the risk and actually sacrificing vacation time (and money if they’re paid hourly) to attend the interview. We, as hiring managers, should be the ones thanking them for their time.

So, my opinion on good manners remains the same. If you really want to make an impression on a potential candidate, send a nice hand-written Thank You note. If you’re a little more tech-savvy and work in a fast-paced industry, an email is probably just fine. And who knows, if your candidate was raised like I was then you’ll most likely get a Thank You for your Thank You.

PS – this is equally important when you aren’t moving forward with the candidate. Write them and tell them you appreciate their time and interest in your company. You don’t know when your paths will cross again, and you’ll be thankful you left a good impression.