The “black hole” from a candidate’s perspective

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Q: I have applied to the job of my dreams.  I had two Zoom interviews and one face-to-face interview.  I am really hoping to see an offer this week.  However, when I look at my notes, I realize I have not heard from them in over two weeks.  I reached out last week but nothing.  Is this odd?  Why do companies do this?  I have been in touch with a third-party recruiter too and I have not heard back from them.  What should I expect?

A: This is disappointing.  This is a common complaint that we hear from job hunters.  The candidate applies and the candidate hears nothing back.  Or the candidate applies and participates in some type of interview (Zoom or face-to-face), and receives no response from the employer.  On the employer side, many hiring professionals are crushed with work.  And “closing the loop” often feels like another item on the never-ending “to do” list.  However (and this is a big forever) that “closing the loop” step is essential.  Any candidate who participates in the selection process absolutely deserves a personal response.  The response might be an email or a phone call, but it should be something!  A company’s reputation matters.  If an employer continues to demonstrate a lack of professional courtesy and overall sloppiness during the selection process, this reputation will likely catch up to them.  There are many online sites which track an employer’s reputation.  Candidates can and often will write a review of the selection process.  I have even seen comments online in other platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn).  Of course, no company is perfect.  I have had clients who have lacked follow-through with candidates because of a system crash, an employee illness or an emergency within the organization.  These crises are exceptions though.  Employers need to let each and every candidate know of their status within the organization.  Now, there are also candidates who require an incredible amount of reassurance and updates.  I have had candidates expect to schedule a one-hour debrief call with me, to discuss why they were not selected, feedback on why they were not selected and a review of their other opportunities.  This is a yellow flag for most talent acquisition people.  This candidate sounds demanding and high maintenance.

Finally, there is a point in time where you just need to realize that this process won’t result in a job offer.  The time and energy devoted to this role, could be used focusing on other opportunities.

I am sorry this happened to you.  Dust yourself off and move on.  There are other roles out there.

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.