Rhona Barnett-Pierce


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Underutilized Recruiting Strategy: Gratitude

A few years ago, one of the hiring managers I was working with was so fixated on getting thank you notes from candidates that they wanted to rescind an offer when they found out the candidate they were excited about hiring hadn’t sent thank you notes to any of the interviewers.

As you can imagine, I was livid. And no, we didn’t rescind the offer. That type of foolery doesn’t happen on my watch‼️

That entire situation led to implementing one of the most impactful techniques I use to craft a memorable candidate experience: WE thank our candidates for their time.

Pop Tv Thank You GIF By Schitt's Creek

Yep, you read that right. Both my hiring managers and I send thank you notes to candidates after every interview.

We don’t wait for candidates to send us a note; we send one FIRST.

Sending these notes isn’t just about being nice; it’s a strategic move. It can boost your company’s image, increase candidate engagement, and even help secure great talent. When a candidate feels appreciated, they’re more likely to have a positive view of your company, whether they get the job or not.

Today, I’m sharing my process with you. You’ll learn how to incorporate this into your existing process seamlessly.

Let’s dive in.

Step 1: Create a Personalized Template

Start with a flexible template, but always add a personal touch. Reference something unique from each interview. Mention specific points from the interview to show genuine interest.

For instance, if a candidate mentioned a project they’re proud of, reference it. This personal touch can make a big difference. An interviewer who takes this extra step can create a memorable and positive experience for the candidate.

Pro Tip:
Before submitting my interview feedback, I look at my overall summary paragraph and extract the relevant pieces that can be shared with a candidate to use for the thank you email.

Step 2: Set Clear Expectations

In your thank-you note, include a line letting the candidate know when they can expect to hear back from you with updates or next steps. I always like to include the phrase updates or next steps, because I don’t want to give anyone false hopes. There’s always a possibility that they aren’t moving forward.

This email doesn’t reflect how they performed during the interview; it’s a tool to thank them for their time.

Step 3: Automate and Schedule

Use automation to make this step quick. Set up your ATS to auto-generate a draft email post-interview, with placeholders for specific details you can fill in.

Once you’ve personalized the email with references to specifics from the interview, schedule the email to be sent a few hours after the interview. At most, you should send this should the day after the interview.

This integration ensures consistency and timeliness without overwhelming your workload.


  • Create a template. Leave space for personalization
  • Set clear expectations about when the candidate will hear back from you.
  • Automate the creation of the draft.
  • Personalize & Send

Remember, it’s all about making each candidate feel valued and keeping your company at the forefront of their minds. These small yet impactful touchpoints can be the difference between accepting your offer or ghosting you after you’ve invested time and effort.

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Until Next Week!

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