Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Is it common for large companies with a lot of applicants to ignore a job candidate’s follow up email after an interview if they’ve decided not to proceed with the interview process or job offer?

We do it all the time, and — since there's always a chance we could maybe do something next month or quarter with an applicant we passed on this month or quarter, we always try to avoid committing ourselves to an outright refusal — we're probably doing you a favor when we do.

Image result for follow up call

(Unless, of course, it's your attitude that you were entitled to that or any other specific job, in which case we don't want you . . .)

Our application forms (the use of which we we require at every level: we don't accept resumes, letter of reference or recommendation, or other instruments of “obfuscation, misinformation or embellishment”) clearly state that your application is merely a unilateral expression of interest by you and does not, by the simple fact of its submission to us by you, make you a candidate. While as a matter of practice we probably will, we don't owe you to even look at it.

And as far as follow-up e-mails go, the only reason I don't consider them intentional harassment is because the prevailing wisdom out there in the job-seeking and interviewing world tells people that they're supposed to do it that way — and most people don't realize that we rely exclusively upon our own established selection process. They don't know that we don't make decisions on the basis of follow-up e-mails, or other expressions of extraordinary interest or eagerness, or personal self-promotion or campaigning, or other attempts to nudge our process along in their favor; and that we would really rather our applicants not do any of that. On our older, paper application forms, before we shifted to an applicant tracking system, we even specifically requested that they not do it, with a warning that doing so might be considered harassment.

Trust me, if you did send a follow-up email to 'let us know you're still interested', or rush along our decision, and we noticed it (personally, I delete them as soon as I scan through them and have a pretty good idea of the content, without taking note of who sent it, since I consider them about as welcome as a spam piece), it probably would not work in your favor.

Repeated follow-up emails — or even so much as one follow-up phone call, if you make it to me (because then I'll get curious about who's doing all this pushing and shoving on our selection process) — would, as likely as not, work against you.

I run hotels. It's not my life's calling to reinvent the field of human resources, particularly recruiting and screening; but it was either work out our own unique way of doing it that we hope will actually work better over time as we refine it, or make our peace with the crappy way it's been done for years and years and always will be. So we put a lot of work and thought and investment into working out our own recruiting, selection and candidation process, and we're going to give it every chance to work as designed and intended, without outside interference and without people trying to manipulate it in their own favor.

The whole “put on your best face and sell yourself” game, played by so many employment applicants the way people are taught to do it, calls for and brings up personal qualities and attributes on the part of applicants that we have little to no use for in our organization, that we don't even encourage in our salespeople, and that we don't care to see at all from any other employee. We certainly not going to hire someone on the basis of those personal attributes or qualities if we can avoid it.


Here again, the usual caveat that comes at the end of any job seeking, resume-writing, interviewing or career advice that I give you: it all works great if I'm the one doing the hiring. Everyone else that makes hiring decisions has their own asm's and ism's about it.

I'd like to think that we've worked out, with time and experience, ways of doing it that are a bit more scientific and rational then those that usually prevail; or at least ways that work better for us, which is about all we can hope for.

But recruiting, screening and the making of hiring decisions is an area in which what we call 'AAA syndrome' comes heavily into play. (Do you remember that survey conducted by the American Automobile Association a few years back, where 95% of drivers in the country rated their driving skills as 'above average'? Somehow, the math just doesn't work on that one. Of course it could be just plain old everyday Dunning–Kruger effect . . .)

It's an area in which everyone, and every company, no matter how inept they actually are at doing it, thinks they're better at than most others.

Originally appeared on Quora


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