Ever been on a date, thought you had a connection then never heard from them again? You texted, you called, you Facebook stalked, you waited. Nothing. Maybe you spent the next few days recanting the event considering possible scenarios that lead to a lack of interest from the other party. Was it something I said? Maybe I shouldn’t have ordered the garlic chicken? While it could be any reason within the clockwork orange that is your imagination it’s likely something less dramatic. Regardless of the real reason it never feels good. Would you just rather have them tell you the truth? Maybe not the whole truth but something along the lines of, look I’m just not interested.
Somewhere along the way this lack of communication has become the standard. The status quo no response has permeated the hiring process. How many times have you applied for a job online and never received a response? Worse yet, interviewed over the phone, sent a thank you and received no response. Worst of all, met with a potential employer in person only to never hear from them again. You thought the interview went really well. They even said they would contact you with next steps.
Sadly, this is not an uncommon story. Oh if I had a penny. Has it always been this way? No. Seven years ago I applied for a job and received a letter in the mail from the company thanking me for my interest, praising my qualifications but politely declining their interest. Clearly this was a standard letter but still, it felt good and it brought closure. Did I mention I received a letter? In the mail? Not an email. A letter on actual letterhead.
Why is the no-response a common practice today? There’s no simple answer. In this recruiter’s humble opinion it’s partly due to the shift in electronic candidate applicant tracking systems. This is when you apply online for a job and your resume descends into the black hole. But what about when you actually speak to another human? Well, that’s just bad form. Are we too busy to send a simple email thanking someone for their time with a polite thanks-but-no-thanks? It’s difficult to tell someone no. Rather than simply closing the loop we use avoidance to assuage the uncomfortable. It’s not right, no one likes it but it’s reality.
Fortunately as a recruiter I almost never experience this. Feedback from hiring managers overflows with the good, the bad and the ugly. Could it be because they don’t have to deliver it personally and it’s up to me to relay the news?
How do you handle the rejection or lack thereof? Give it a week, maybe two at the most. If you still haven’t heard back move on and let it go. The mental energy spent trying to figure out why will only consume you, preventing forward momentum. Do not take it personal. More often than not, it just wasn’t a fit.
Photo Credit: VBPL Recommends