Real Email Every Hiring Manager Should Read

Dear Reader

The letter is from 2016 and something about it stayed with me. I think many hiring managers could and should learn from it.

I try in my posts and articles to be honest and pull the curtain back a little on the sometimes ‘smoke and mirrors’ world of headhunting. With that in mind, I am going to simply share this letter from a candidate. A really good candidate.

Let me set the scene

For the first time in over a year I had decided to use my time and expertise to help a candidate find a job. I did this because they were VERY good (made & saved employers £millions) and had a clear idea of what their worth was (and to whom). Earning around a £150k a year and several companies had created roles in the past to get them on board.

This was exactly the sort of candidate to tempt me into doing some work on their behalf. If I didn’t place them, someone else would. Besides, it would be fun to get on the phone again to share a great candidate.

I set up an interview with ‘John’ the Hiring Manager at a company you will likely have heard of. He was not just positive after the interview he was positively excited! He said HR would contact the candidate the following week. Naturally, I passed this onto the equally enthused candidate. It was a great example of two professionals having a real meeting of minds.

So, what happened?

This Email was received almost ONE MONTH after the first interview. I have changed only the names.

The Letter

Hi Bruce

Thanks for the note. I hope you are well. My Daughter handled the exams with great poise and confidence. See what the results bring but she’s a clever girl so think he’ll be fine.

No changes on the job front. To be honest as I have no financial pressure to find something I haven’t really looked or applied for anything.

At the same time the lack of momentum generally from XYZ Company has been disappointing to say the least. It makes myself question whether the corporate world is something I want to go back into as there’s complacency at a time when action is needed more than ever. XYZ Company seem to be a typical example of current corporate behaviour. Personally I feel as if there is something going on internally preventing them from progressing. I just wish they would be honest and say as to why HR hasn’t arranged to see me. Even the email from JOHN last week to keep me warm has now left me cold due to their lack of action.

It must be so frustrating for you to go from something that was so well matched to this situation.

It will be interesting to see what John says. I hope you get some truth out of him. Look forward to hearing about it.

Warm regards


I can still remember how I felt when I read this email and it reminded me of a conversation I’ve recently had with my own Daughter. Things go wrong in life but when it’s completely avoidable it’s even more soul destroying.


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About the author

Bruce Wright is the founder and Managing Director of Pathfinder Executive Search Ltd and has over 14 years Recruiting, Staffing and Executive Search experience. Over 12 years of this has been spent in Executive Search. He has been helping top Enterprise Software companies find senior level executives and helping build world class teams across Europe and North America since 2003. Unlike many Executive Search Professionals who claim to work across borders, he really has placed Senior Professionals with Enterprise Software companies in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK and North America. Often working across borders simultaneously for the same client – this generates a synergy that makes for truly outstanding results. He is also a committed endurance athlete who has competed in challenges around the world, including the infamous Marathon des Sables, Zurich Ironman and the magical Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. In addition to UTMB he has twice run 100 miles non-stop.