Why do prospective employers not return phone calls? In the past year, I have been challenged to look for opportunities in a new field. I have sent many applications to many places. To my surprise, many employers never return a single phone call. There should be a rule of thumb for employers on who to call back and who not to call back.
Personally, if I held a Human Resources position, I would make it my goal to call every single person on the list that I had at least one conversation of any length with. I wouldn’t be surprised if a prospective employer didn’t call a person back who zapped resumes through a site like CareerBuilder, HotJobs or Monster. Especially if that prospective employer never called that particular candidate for a phone interview or face to face. My rule of thumb would be to call back each candidate that I had entertained at least one conversation with.
It shouldn’t be that hard. At first, I was willing to make excuses that many prospective employers couldn’t simply make those calls due to the sheer volume of how many resumes were sent. I can live with the fact that a person who was not contacted by the employer to start with should not be followed up with a yes or no in terms of landing that particular job. The problem I have is that if a prospective employer utilizes my time at any point to have a lengthy conversation about the job then I eventually deserve a yes or no phone call or email to let me know. It seems that the protocol these days is to wait for the phone to ring. If the phone doesn’t ring, you didn’t land the gig. It just seems kind of out of touch with what should be done in accordance to human decency. It helps the person finalize everything and move on to look forward in their search.
I have come to appreciate those who do call and let me know that I have or haven’t landed the job. A simple email speaks volumes to the character of someone in my opinion who has the guts to let you know you didn’t land the job. I assume there must be people out there who don’t accept the fact they didn’t land a position. Maybe those people are irate. I am sure for every one of those people that there are five more who would very much appreciate a yes or no.
What does this lack of following up say for society? It says that we aren’t social beings much anymore. Everyone is afraid of conflict. Well, just forget that. Everyone is afraid to socially interact with people. Maybe that’s why people are so prone to text messaging now instead of making a simple phone call. Call me old fashioned, but whatever you do, just call me. Don’t text. Don’t email. Although email is better than never hearing from a company you spend five hours on the road traveling to for a second interview.
I feel like there is a lack of respect on the part of the prospective employer toward the prospective employee. A huge lack of respect. In other words, we have the job and you will be very lucky if you get it. The rest of you can just wait for the phone to ring and check back in around 6 months from now to learn that the position had been filled, opened and re-filled.
My problem is when a candidate invests much time and energy into a position and receives little consideration in terms of follow up. Take this for example. I interviewed with a company around Christmas. I had 3 phone interviews that went well for this particular position. I followed up with a face to face interview during Christmas week at a neutral location 3 hours away. Never mind that I spent a ton of money driving for this interview.
I spent almost an entire day driving back and forth and interviewing and was told I was in the final three.
What happened? How would I know because no one ever called me back? Wouldn’t a phone call be deserved considering the amount of time and energy I spent for this job. What kind of companies handle procedures like this and why would I want to work for someone who has such poor etiquette?
Here is another example. I was up for a different job at a different company in August. Much like the previous position, I had three phone interviews. I finally had my face to face interview the following week. The interview seemed to go really well. What happened? No phone call ever. As far as I know, I am still up for the job. Obviously I am kidding.
Not to beat a dead horse but here is another example. I was up for a sales job 5 hours away near family. I had 2 phone interviews and finally set up a face to face. I drove a 10 hour round trip in one day for a chance to land this position. The lady I interviewed with was very nice and told me she would let me know after the interview. I had a great interview, or so I thought, and even met the general manager of the company. What happened? The prospective employer never gave me a phone call. A week passed by and I decided to follow up and be the aggressor this time around. I called and left a phone message. I emailed. I never got a reply for either.
How are people taught that this is the etiquette you should use when dealing with a prospective employee? Why are people so scared to place a simple phone call to a person and let them know. Most of the prospective employees are probably mature and can handle a decision that goes against them. We just want to know. I think it’s almost completely unacceptable that people in these positions are allowed to keep their jobs if they don’t follow up with people. It feels like they are the ones who should be unemployed, searching for jobs and getting no return phone calls. Sorry, but it kind of is your job to place a phone call and let people know if they did or didn’t get the position. Send out an email. Send out a form letter. Just let people know.
It has crossed my mind that I am way too sensitive. I have made excuses over and over for the people in these positions. But I refuse to do that anymore. People who advertise jobs should have the courage to call people who have invested a substantial amount of time and energy and at least let them know. As job seekers, we deserve that. It’s horrible horrible etiquette just to let things go and have the prospective employee assume they didn’t get the job. Especially when it might seem like they might actually land the position. Especially when moving is involved. Especially when that particular person could be up for multiple positions.
There should be some law or rule that governs the job seeking process that accordingly makes those people places calls, emails or letters. I know there is probably some unwritten rule somewhere that states a person who does not get the job does not deserve a call. I completely disagree. I just wish the powers that be would get that, too.