I am constantly hearing from candidates who complain that they interview at agencies or companies, are sometimes promised next steps and then hear nothing. Often, these people get passed on, interview with hiring managers and then hear nothing. Their calls go unreturned. Their emails go unanswered. It is really uncaring and callous. Yet the people who did the interviewing don't even realize that they are being irresponsible - no one told them that if they promised follow up, they have to deliver.
We all understand that people are busy, sometimes even frantic. But, honestly, it only takes a couple of seconds to return a call or email. Calls can be made at times of day which will pretty much guaranty getting a voice mail, which means all that has to be said is, “Thank you. It was nice meeting you, but we have decided to go in another direction.” Ditto emails.
I received the following email recently from a candidate. It is typical of the frustrations of interviewing:
…. I want to see a blog on courtesy and respect of candidates.
Since I saw you two weeks ago after going to see [so-and-so], not a single word, after
follow up e-mails to the hiring manager.
Also, I meet [sic] with [company] about a Brand Director position before Memorial Day, with
the hiring manager telling me they want someone in place by July 1st. Well, guess what,
not a single response.
I think there needs to be a "cut-off" or some indication based on who you've met with. For example,
if it is only HR, no response necessary, but if you've met with a hiring manager
or even worse, the extended team, I would think courtesy dictates some type of update
after 2 weeks time.
Thank you for letting me rant!!
This is, I believe, a perfectly reasonable request. I have previously posted about this. Not responding to calls and emails is simply rude.
In companies where there is a human resources department, it should be their responsibility to track candidates, keep them informed of their progress and, ultimately, to let them know where they stand and what their status is. Most of the good HR departments do this automatically and intuitively. But many do not. It is very easy for a candidate to get lost in the cracks. It should be the policy of every company to insure that a candidate who has interviewed is properly thanked for their time. I have previously written about how important feedback is. But even recruiters often aren't given the status of their candidates. (I have been called a pain in the you know where for my persistence and have even lost one or two clients because of it). I have also written that companies should write thank you notes; this was the subject of one of my Ad Age columns in 2010.
In this day and age, even an HR intern can make thanking candidates and letting them know their status as part of his or her responsibilities. It will go a long way towards doing great public relations for a company.
Getting emails like the one quoted above, are just plain unnecessary and can easily be avoided.