49% of job-seekers say their greatest frustration is companies that never respond

More than 400 of you responded to the survey I ran on Monday — thank you!  Of those who responded who are job-seekers, here’s a breakdown of what you said your biggest frustrations are.

Nearly half said their biggest frustration is employers who never bother to get back to them, even after they take the time to interview.

{ 23 comments… read them below }

  1. Sergey Gorbatov*

    I would support that. I always make sure that the candidates get the feedback in either case. They need the recruitment feedback if they are successful, and they need it even more if they are not. If a candidate is coming via a recruitment agency, I would always talk to the recruiter there about the key points I want to go back to the interviewee, or I will contact the person directly, either myself or via one of my advisers.

  2. Seeking Employment*

    I am surprised but then again I am not. The not responding is an epidemic it seems. I am in a non responding situation right now, which I emailed you about, that I can't believe is going on. The recruiter was so nice and open at the beginning.

  3. Anonymous*

    It is indeed frustrating and discouraging when companies don't respond after the interview. I do realize that hiring managers are busy, but a little courtesy is in order here.

  4. V 9 to 5*

    Yes, I agree! I recently had a very positive phone interview with a recruiter employed by the particular company I was interested in. I called him once and sent him two emails. I never heard from him. Not only is it frustrating, but it is also a complete turnoff. Do I really want to work for a company that condones this type of communication or lack thereof?

  5. Anonymous*

    I agree with the others- it is SO frustrating to not hear back, and it's pretty demoralizing when it happens again and again. It's rare when you do hear back, and that's a shame. I always feel like my time is absolutely wasted when I go through a phone interview, and then in-person and then not another word from anyone involved. And yes, they all seem nice and communicative until they've decided you aren't the candidate you want- then it's good luck trying to get in touch ever again with them.

  6. my son calls me Junya*

    I'm a recruiter. I'm always amazed when people email me back thanking me for the follow-through of contacting candidates and informing them that they are NOT in consideration for the position. I try extremely hard to contact every person that applies to my positions – whether I ever get to talk to them directly or not – they will at minimum, receive a note back thanking them for applying and telling them why they are not in consideration for the position.

    Sometimes, I can be on an interview call with a candidate and I'll tell them during the interview that they are not the right person for the position. I figure that if they aren't going to meet my hiring managers criteria – I'm not going to stretch their hopes by saying something like "I'll get back to you".

    My point it this. I think every company should make it mandatory that their staffing teams have closure with all people that apply. Since 1/2 of all job-seekers are frustrated because this does not happen – any company or recruiter that makes this a goal – is certainly going to improve their image in the marketplace.

  7. Charles*

    Yes, I am among those who responded and is within that 49%.

    The problem/frustration is that this unprofessional behaviour is not limited to small "mom & pop" or "fly-by-night" operations; even some major players that I have interviewed with in the last 2 years do this (yes it has been 2 years since I last worked!). To name but a few:

    New York University
    Fairleigh Dickenson University
    United Presbyterian Hospital (four interviews on 4 separate days at $30 per trip – more than just a time investment!)
    Oxford University Press
    Two local community collages and two local private universities

    All in-person interviews, all followed up with snail-mail thank you notes, follow up emails, and follow up phones calls. Except for the emails from all the schools asking me to fill out their "affirmative actions surveys" there has been no response.

    Here's the thing. I am well qualified for all the positions that I interviewed for; and since they did NOT get back to me I am going to assume the worst and tell EVERYONE that they are too embarrassed to get back to me because they have no legitimate reason to NOT hire me. So I am assuming that it is due to age discrimination (I'm in my mid-50s). At this point I don't care if my assumption is wrong – that is what I am telling everyone about their organization – they suck!

    As far as the non-profits (I didn't list them above) that I interviewed with and they didn't follow up, instead, they put me on their "potential donor list" – they suck even more!

    1. Rachel K*

      Thank you for the above and I had similar experience with the fol. employers


      It is only fair and appropriate to get some sort of response once you interviewed fora position. It is now very common not to hear back from prospect employers even if you had two or more face to face interviews and it sucks!

  8. Anonymous*

    I've hired employees and vendors in previous jobs, so I'm always good about keeping people informed and letting them know when I've hired somebody else. Mostly because of all the times somebody hasn't bothered getting back to me.

    In terms of my recent experience, I had one company make me go through 5 hours of interviews, both in person and on the phone. Instead of following up with me, I got a notice back from their HR system that the position was canceled/withdrawn. That's pretty much the only way they've gotten back to me.

  9. Anonymous*

    It�s annoying to not hear back from someone you�ve had an interview with (though I don�t really expect to hear back from a position that I�ve applied to initially but never got to the phone screen/interview stage).

    However, it�s equally annoying to hear back with a rude or belittling form email. I�ve gotten emails back for jobs I�ve applied to that basically said �you�re application has been reviewed for the position you�ve applied and has been rejected.� Really? Why not, �we have received your application and resume but are moving forward with a different candidate�� or something like that? To actually use the word rejected is pretty amazing �Hi, thanks for trying but we�re way too good for you, go get stuffed.� Gee, thanks.

    I also am not a fan when they use some phrase like �looking for a better organizational fit� when I haven�t even been interviewed. How do you know I�m not an organizational fit, you haven�t even talked to me?

  10. Anonymous*

    I just went through the same thing. Went through a phone interview and four in person interviews. Received a phone call from the recruiter indicating I'd be hearing from them in a week with "next steps", also received responses to my thank you notes to two of the four interviewers indicating that they'd be "talking to me soon". That was almost 8 weeks ago.

    No response to the phone calls and emails I've sent to the recruiter. Nothing.

    Am I still interesting in working there? I don't know. Quite frankly after the experience I feel like if that's the corporate culture there maybe I don't. Thankfully I have a job right now so I have a choice to leave or stay, but how rude can you be? Especially when you set expectations that you'd be contacted within the next week for "next steps".

  11. Anonymous*

    I've worked as a casting director for theater productions. Once we contact and confirm with the actors we would like, we contact *every* actor who auditioned and did not get a part. Most people appreciate that extra step, and I imagine it would be the same for a job interviewee.

  12. Slappy*

    If they don't give me a date that they will get back to me, I don't mind so much, but I REALLY hate it when they give me a date and I never hear from them.

    Also, temp agencies that swear that they have jobs for candidates just like me if I will just go through their long annoying interview process, but then once I do so can't place me.

  13. Anonymous*

    While I appreciate a reply, the absolute worst one I got was back in 2003 while I was in college. I had applied for the Hilton at the Walt Disney World Resort for a front desk agent job. The in-person interview went well enough, and I was told I'd hear back in a few days. After a few days, I received a phone call, literally telling me that not only I did not get the job, but that I will never work for Hilton Hotels.

    WTF. I'm glad to have left that industry altogether.

  14. Anonymous*

    One of my biggest frustrations is ads that have ridiculous requirements, especially for the position level.

    Requiring 8 years experience for a JUNIOR level position.

    Requiring experience with obscure and rare technology, such as a program used solely by the company.

    Requiring n years experience with a technology that came out n-1 years ago.

    1. fustrated jobless*

      I always wonder the same thing! they have a long list of must have, and most of those must haves there is no way you can tell by merely talking to someone for 20 minutes!

    2. Beth*

      I am seeing a lot of that lately for the Web Developer positions I am looking for. Entry-level sure isn’t entry-level anymore.

  15. fustrated jobless*

    I think it’s time we do something about it! It is very rude that in the age of technology they can’t even take one minute to send an email to let you know you didn’t get the job. I am seriously looking to see if there is any lawsuit that can be filed! I think I am going to launch a website to gather data so I can analyse and see if there is a trend. I am sure there is some kind of discrimination going on!

      1. fustrated jobless*

        That much I know. Am talking discrimination interms of sex, age, race, etc…

  16. Ask a Manager* Post author

    Companies that don’t respond to candidates tend to do it across the board, without regard to sex, age, race, etc. It’s just rudeness. Not everything that’s rude is illegal.

Comments are closed.