A simple note can make hiring managers take a better look at you.
A Robert Half and Accountemps survey found that 80 percent of human resources managers use thank-you notes as leverage when making a hire, but only 24 percent of applicants do this (51 percent did this a decade ago).
But it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. A quick email to the interview or to HR will suffice, as 94 percent of managers prefer that. You can go the extra step with a handwritten note (86 percent of them like it that way and 21 percent have received them). Skip a social media shout-out or a text — less than 10 percent of HR managers think this is a good idea.
“Acknowledging a hiring manager for the time he or she has given you demonstrates your enthusiasm, professionalism and attention to detail,” says Accountemps executive director Michael Steinitz. “With so few job seekers writing thank-you notes, a well-crafted message can help you stand out from other candidates.”
If you’re looking for a way to be remembered, a thank-you note or email could be the determining factor for you to getting the job versus not.
Accountemps suggests a few ways of making a memorable note, like:
- Customize the message — don’t make it generic; detail something you off-handedly mentioned in the interview or bring up something you forgot to talk about.
- Do it fast — Don’t wait longer than a day to send your message. This means email is best or dropping off a hand-written note after the interview. A lot of hires happen shortly after the interview is done, within a few days.
- Read, then re-read — If you wrote it but didn’t read it back, it’s not worth sending at all. Proofread your messages! Grammatical errors will only weaken your stance with hiring managers.
- Don’t be a bother — If you don’t hear back from the job within a week, it’s OK to follow up with an email or phone call, but don’t keep pestering hiring managers if you don’t get a response right away.
Job seekers want money, then amenities
As you’re crafting your thank-you notes to potential employers, keep in mind that some jobs have more perks than others. Apparently, some workers don’t want all the bells and whistles that come with some jobs.
Staffing company Addison Group says 80 percent of employees would ditch office amenities if they got a better job without those offerings. Almost 3 in 4 would give up holidays and weekends if they landed the “right” job.
That “right” job might not always be the “best” job, as millennials are looking for valuable work but are willing to never stop working to do it. Nonstop working leads to burnout, which can be a big factor in how many people leave companies anyway.
While salary is a big factor, according to Addison, other studies prove that money isn’t as high on the list as it is for older American workers. Most millennial employees believe happiness — not money — is the most important factor when it comes to the workplace. Because young people aren’t making as much as they should be, they are working more to make up for it, turning them into employees that never stop working. This could also be why they are stressed all the time.
Addison also says that workers are satisfied with their current jobs (70 percent) but if they were looking, 40 percent want to be challenged — preferring to do something fresh rather than something redundant.
“People want career fulfillment, and it’s not surprising that younger job seekers are more bullish on making a move to achieve their goal,” says Tom Moran, CEO of Addison Group. “They often have greater personal flexibility to accommodate those career pathing jumps. Frequent job-hopping has become the norm in today’s employment market.”
The survey also says that in order to find the very best jobs, 72 percent of workers are willing to take longer commutes for a new gig. Being valued, the survey says, is just as important as being paid.
Bad hires are costly
While you’re looking for a company that’s meaningful and worthy, remember that not all moves are the right ones.
A CareerBuilder survey shows that the average cost of a bad hire on a company is $15,000. That’s per person.
The worst hires were the ones that didn’t have all the skills but employers thought they could learn faster (35 percent of companies surveyed said this). One-third of candidates lied about their qualifications, and 32 percent “took a chance on a nice person.” Another 30 percent felt the need to fill the position as soon as possible and settled.
“Disengagement is contagious — poor performers lower the bar for other workers on their teams, and their bad habits spread throughout the organization,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “The best thing hiring managers can do is put in the time and effort on the front end to make sure they have the best available pool of applicants for every job opening. And, just as importantly, have good procedures in place for evaluating candidates.”
In the end, employers knew they made the wrong decision when: the employee didn’t produce the right quality of work (54 percent of employers said this), and the worker had a negative attitude (53 percent). Half of bad hires didn’t work well with others, while 46 percent were late almost immediately after getting hired.
Sometimes both the company and the candidate are on the same page, even when it’s the wrong decision. CareerBuilder says 66 percent of workers have accepted a job and realized it wasn’t the right job for them. Half of them have quit within six months (37 have stuck with it).
Bad hires are expensive but good hires that leave are even more pricey: for companies that let the good ones get away, it’ll cost them, on average, $29,600 each employee — or nearly double the cost of a bad hire.
Your well-crafted thank-you note will only go as far as the job that is the right fit for you. Don’t bother taking the time out to make one if the job you’re seeking will only be a regret a few months from now.