The Importance of ‘Dear John’ Letters

Check out this great letter from Coach K to Michael Jordan, after Jordan told Coach K he was going to North Carolina:

Jordan letter











Coach K gets it.  Yeah, Jordan went to North Carolina, won a national championship and became the greatest basketball player of all time.  But Coach K gets it!

Coach K understands what over half of HR and Talent Pros don’t get – in recruiting top talent – you never burn a bridge.  I’m sure he was upset about losing MJ to UNC – but he never let on that he was.  He sent a very cordial letter, complimenting him and wishing him well.  How many of you do that when a candidate turns you down?  My guess is – not many.  Better yet, how many actually have these letters coming from the hiring manager that interviewed the person, hand signed?  BETTER YET, how many of you have these letters coming from the CEO of your company, hand signed?

The world is a small place and you’re going to be on for a long time.  MJ respects Coach K, because Coach K treated him with respect and always left the door open.

People make mistakes all the time.  Candidates take jobs thinking its going to be great, and some times it turns out to awful.  Many of those folks believe, since they turned you down, and her nothing after – you were pissed.  So, they’ll never reach back out to you and say – “Hey, give me a second chance – this current place sucks!”  Takes about 33 seconds to send this letter out – could have years worth of payback.



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