Let’s Bring Back the Thank You Note

As I sit here writing thank you notes for a Staffing Management Association event last week, it got me thinking about the lost art of the Thank You Note.

I don’t see many Thank You Notes on a personal or professional basis anymore.  I think the way we tell people “thank you” has changed in part to the internet, email and technology in general.  A sincere thank you email sometimes does the trick in a very busy life.  But, I’d like for us to revisit the practice of personally thanking someone for something, in our own handwriting.

I’ve often wondered if a person who sends or does not send notes is due to how they were raised.  Did their Mom bring them up “properly,” teaching them etiquette like Emily Post?   But, I now know this isn’t true.  For example, I was the daughter of an Air Force Colonel.  Even in that world, I don’t recall being taught how, where or when to write a Thank You Note.  I learned how to write a Thank You Notes at work.  I learned it first when I was looking for a job right out of college, then as a recruiter.  If it worked for candidates, shouldn’t we do it from the other side.  I tried it and it worked.  The top candidates that accepted the job often were the ones that I took time to write THEM…maybe it wasn’t because of the Thank You Note, but I bet it was a big help closing the deal.  People want to feel special.  A personal note is an easy way to accomplish this.

What does a Thank You Note tell you even today?  I think it means you pulled yourself away from the computer; took the time to purchase some nice paper or cards; thought about something to say (with no spell check); put a stamp on it and took it to the mailbox.  Ok, that’s about 10 minutes of your day, a lot in today’s standards. “You took the time to send me a Thank You Note…wow!”

So, get out of your seat and pick up some personalized stationery, pretty cards or even post cards.  The next time someone does something nice, good, helpful, or unexpected…send a Thank You Note…especially send those notes to your pipeline candidates.  It’s not too late, to teach an old dog new tricks.  The recipient will be impressed and you’ll probably feel good about it, too.

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Diana Meisenhelter

Diana is an alumnus of Riviera Advisors, and worked with the Riviera Advisors team from 2004-2012 as Principal Consultant.

Diana has over 25 years’ experience leading and being a strategic thinker in Talent Acquisition. She has held key corporate roles as a Managing Director and Vice President of Talent Acquisition, has had a significant experience in global consulting across many industries, including Entertainment, Gas, Financial Services, Electric and Utilities, Healthcare, Hospitality, Government, Oilfield Services, Technology and Telecommunications. She started her career as recruiter. She knows what good looks like from all levels; her passion is in helping companies identify how Talent Acquisition can implement best practices and impact and improve their business.

Most recently she led Talent Acquisition for FedEx Office. Previously, she was Vice President of Staffing and Talent Acquisition for Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Director of Worldwide Recruitment for Westin Hotels & Resorts, She also was responsible for executive recruitment and College Relations for American General Hospitality and held corporate HR generalist roles for Embassy Suites, Inc. prior to the hospitality industry; she worked in other industries such as healthcare, IT executive search and US government support.

Diana has a Bachelor of Arts, Communications/Business Management from The University of Maryland - College Park and an Associates of Arts, European Studies, The University of Maryland - Munich Campus, Munich, Germany

She is actively engaged in the HR and TA profession and helping the profession by volunteering in key leadership roles in the community: Board of Trustees - DallasHR (local mega chapter for Society of Human Resource Management), Society of Human Resource Management, Member of profession networking groups like CareerXRoads Colloquium and The Conference Board.

Past President the DFW Staffing Management Association (previously EMA), Founding Member Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals, Board of Directors - Woman’s Business Council South West, Talent Acquisition Executive Board/The Conference, SHRM Texas State Council and the Board of Directors for the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruitment.

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