Reader question: I have been working closely with a recruiter for about three months. She is great and helpful. I learned a lot from her about companies that are hiring, that she has worked with in the past and that she had inside information on. That being said, I just accepted a job offer from a company from an interview that I obtained on my own. I didn't use the recruiter at all but it was a job I couldn't pass up. I feel bad for her, she has been great. How do I thank her? Do I send her a gift of appreciation (such as a Starbucks gift card, or something else - what would be appropriate?) or just a handwritten thank you note? Or is an email note sufficient? I really like this person, she was great, and I want to keep a strong relationship. What is appropriate, professional and doesn't cross lines when this happens? Can you please provide some feedback and insight on how to best approach/handle this? Thank you!
Here is a response from Laura Mazzullo of Eastside Staffing
First of all, please know that your intentions are wonderful! Your note demonstrates that you are someone who values gratitude, collaboration and humility-all values that will take you far in business. Don’t worry about what is ‘sufficient’ as a token of gratitude. The act of giving is such a personal choice! This topic is a great one to discuss, because with our fast-paced, technology-focused world, simple acts of gratitude can feel ‘retro’ and ‘old-fashioned’. You’d be surprised to learn how often Recruiters are not formally thanked when they are the ones responsible for connecting a candidate with a job! Your intentions of gratitude are fantastic and hopefully your positive thoughts are inspiring to many!
Also, never ‘feel bad’ for your Recruiter if he/she doesn’t place you in a job. She helped you because she is kind, it’s her job, and that’s how business works (sadly, she can’t single-handidly help everyone find a job).
Gifts are never required when job-searching (but, as with most thoughtful acts of generosity they are greatly appreciated). What constitutes as an appropriate, professional gift is a personal decision and is often based on your relationship with the recruiter. My advice would be to do what makes you feel comfortable financially and emotionally; only you would be able to answer what constitutes as appropriate gift-giving. Generally speaking, most Recruiters would love a thoughtful, hand-written thank you note. It’s such a rarity, but a true joy to receive! As for gift cards or other (potentially) costly gifts, it’s completely up to the giver to decide. It’s not necessary, nor expected. I’ve received gifts over the years that range from gift baskets to spa gift certificates to flowers. Above all, it is the thought (more than the gift itself) that counts.
In business, the intent of appreciation is most important (which you have!). How you choose to demonstrate that appreciation is completely up to you. Don’t worry about ‘crossing the line’; if the gift is given from a place of gratitude, appreciation, and kindness-it will surely be well-received! I love that you are even thinking about this. It means that you worked with a Recruiter who provided you with exceptional service, treated you kindly, and hopefully inspired you to have the confidence that landed you your new job! Congratulations to you on your new job! Kudos to your Recruiter who has garnered such respect and gratitude from you! Formally thanking someone may be ‘old-school’ and unrequired but I can assure you that it is always appreciated and will make the giver and receiver both feel great.