Tag Archives: Hiring Process

4 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Answers from Hiring Authorities

You’re a job seeker and who’s put forth your best effort in researching the positions and companies before interviews. You feel you’ve performed well in the plethora of interviews employers have dragged you through. But you haven’t received the feedback on the progress of your candidacy.

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The silence you’re experience could be for a number of reasons. Firstly, the hiring authorities don’t have time to respond. Secondly, they haven’t made a decision. Thirdly, they don’t have the authority to provide feedback. And lastly, as harsh as it may sound, they simply don’t want to answer your inquiries.

For whichever reason you’re experiencing radio silence, it isn’t right. It isn’t good business. But there are times when giving hiring authorities some slack is in order. The first of the four reasons is one that is often out of their control.

Don’t have time

Many recruiters have a hard time managing their day job, let alone walk the dog. They make multiple calls a week to source candidates, read numerous resumes, interview a ton of candidates, or they perform a combination of all of these responsibilities.

One recruiter I spoke with says she does her best to get back to her candidates, but if she gets so many applicants at once for just one requisition she “basically triages who will get contacted first and when.” Eventually she responds to her candidates.

Personnel in large HR departments also suffer from lack of time. They conduct multiple rounds of interviews, including phone and in-person screenings. Even though HR isn’t the final decision maker, their role of screening up to 40 or more applicants for a role is vital in the hiring process.

If you think hiring managers have the time to conduct interviews and send you an email on why you didn’t get the role, you’re sadly mistaken. In addition to their hectic schedule, they might sit in on up to 10 interviews for four candidates. Multiply 40 interviews by at least an hour, that’s a whole week of interviews.

Don’t know what the next step is

It’s quite possible that the employer doesn’t have its act together. In other words, they have the time to answer your email or phone call but can’t because they’re trying to decide between you and one, two, or three other people.

Another reason for not replying to your inquiry is that the hiring manager is waiting for an answer from a candidate to whom they’ve made an offer. With the job market being in better shape than it’s been in a while, job seekers have two or more offers from which to choose.

One of my clients recently landed a job. She had two companies courting her, which means there were at least two people waiting in the wings for the companies to make their decisions. In this case the companies didn’t want to muddy the waters explaining to the runners-up how the process was evolving.

Lastly, their hands are tied. They want to offer you the position but the requisition hasn’t been approved by HR or legal. This conundrum is beyond their control and, again, they don’t want to explain the mechanics behind the scene.

How many job seekers have heard apologies from employers for these reasons? More than a few of my clients have.

Don’t have the authority

The hiring manager might have authority to up date you on the hiring process, but very few of them will. The chance of being sued for discrimination is slim to none, but it only takes one candidate to scream ageism, or any other ism, to ruin their week. It’s not worth it.

One of my clients wanted me to reach out to the hiring committee on his behalf, as he was getting no love from them. I sent an email to one of them and never heard back. Responding to an email from a rejected candidate is particularly risky for any hiring authority. No one I know in this position would put an answer in writing.

Recruiters and HR don’t have the authority to respond to your request for an answer. As the go-between people, they must have the blessing from the hiring manager. However, the hiring manager might not be able to respond to your inquiry because of company policy. Again, the chance of being sued it too great.

When my clients attempt to get an answer from hiring authorities, they usually get a pat answer, “you’re not the right fit” which leaves them deflated because it’s basically no answer.

Don’t want to

I can honestly say there have been times when I receive a request for free help, and I don’t respond because the requester asks in such a way that turns me off. Sure, it could be a matter of time. But usually it’s because of the way in which the inquiry is posed.

I’ve received queries similar to this: “Hello, I would like a resume remake. Why should I hire you to do it?” I could have responded like this, “Hello, I would do a great job remaking your resume, but whey should I help you?” But I have better manners.

Do you get what I’m saying? Sometimes it’s a matter of how you ask for an answer to how you did in the interview.

As a career coach, I tell my clients to follow up on the process. Some hiring authorities might say that it’s futile to do this or that it will anger them and result in you not being considered for the position. Hogwash! No employer would disqualify you for performing your due diligence.

What you should do

It would be unfair of me to explain the reasons why you’re not hearing back from hiring authorities without providing solutions for you.

The obvious solution is to apply diplomacy in sending an email to the decision maker/s. I don’t suggest that you boldly ask how the hiring process is going. Rather, boost their ego.

The header of the email should read like: “Thank you very much for interviewing me.”

Because you’ve sent a thank-you note in which you’ve reiterated why you’re the best person for the job, you don’t need to repeat this. Instead, offer the hiring authorities who interviewed you something of value. I encourage an email be sent to each person who interviewed you.

For example, you write to one of the interviewers: During our conversation, you indicated you are an avid skier. Here is a list of the best kept secrets in the Boulder, CO, area. This has nothing to do with the position, but it keeps you top of mind.

The next question is how often should you follow up? I have recommended in the past that three times is the limit. I now recommend two times. After that, no answer is your answer.

4 Areas Where Customer Awareness in the Hiring Process is Key: Part 1 of 2 Articles

Where I buy my coffee there are certain employees who know how I like it made and, just as important, the lid I prefer. I hate straws because of the mess they make in my car and how they’re destructive to the environment. So, I ask for the lid from which you sip.

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One employee, in particular, will rush over to correct my coffee order, made by another employee, and change it from a lid which requires a straw to a sippy one. She is aware of my preference. She possesses strong customer awareness.

Customer awareness isn’t only present in food retail; it’s present in every aspect of our lives. The workplace is another example. We interact with our internal customers, our colleagues and supervisors. If our team is inharmonious, there is a chance that the project will fail.

In the community we are aware of the people around us; they are also our customers. I had a neighbor who would trim our hedges, and I would cut his lawn. He was better at trimming than I was; I was able to push a lawn mower while he wasn’t. We practiced customer awareness.

The hiring process is an obvious example of where customer awareness is required. The stakes are high. Employers need to fill positions to make their organizations run smoothly and profitably; job seekers must be the ones to fill the positions.

Of the two entities, the employer and the job seeker, none is more important than the other. In this article of two, we’ll look at how the employer can demonstrate customer awareness in the hiring process.

The employer

The hiring process will operate seamlessly if customer awareness is practiced effectively by the employer:

  1. Writing an accurate job ad
  2. Practice fair and effective recruitment
  3. Conducting interviews that garner the most qualified candidate
  4. Following up with the candidates no matter what the decision

The job ad

Do you think employers sit around the table and say, “Let’s write a job ad that is vague so we’ll attract the worst candidates”? You probably don’t. But in some cases, employers subconsciously produce an ad that is exactly that, vague. Job candidates read the ad and wonder, “What do they want here?”

They go into the interview where they’re confronted with questions that don’t address the requirements of the position they need to fill. If you’re a job seeker, you’ve probably experienced this scenario at one point during the hiring process. A total lack of customer awareness.

Employers must get buy-in from the immediate group of employees who will interact with job candidates and create a job ad based on the needs of these employees. This said, the needs should be doable for qualified candidates. In other words, the job ad shouldn’t be a mountainous list of duties.

The end result of a job ad that shows customer awareness is one that results in interviewers and candidates entering a business agreement with their eyes wide open, not one that confuses both parties. Employers who know what they need will better serve themselves and job candidates.


Not all job seekers will encounter a recruiter. Some will meet with HR and hiring managers. For sake of argument, let’s use the word “recruiter” as one of the hiring authorities. Let’s also agree that recruiters are the front-line of the hiring process. Therefore, they must also be a brand ambassador.

Too often we hear about recruiters who mistreat job candidates. They schedule, reschedule, and cancel interviews. Stressful would be a kind word to describe what the candidates experience. In addition to mistreating the candidates, this behavior hurts the company’s brand.

Recruiters must refrain from this behavior in order to demonstrate strong customer awareness. They should empathize with the candidates who are struggling with the letdown and, in many cases, despondency that is commonplace with the hiring process.

Customer awareness is better demonstrated when recruiters treat their clients and candidates fairly. Yes recruiters are paid by the employer, but their behavior is well noted by candidates who can be a source of referrals down the road. Many of my clients speak fondly of recruiters they’ve worked with, and some don’t.


This is where the hiring process often fails. There are a number of reasons, the first of which is mentioned above, but a poorly written job ad is only the beginning. The number of interviews is another example of poor customer relations. The final example of poor customer awareness is the way they’re conducted.

The record of interviews one of my customers endured was nine or ten; I don’t remember. I think we can all agree that any number of interviews beyond four is too many. It makes one wonder…why? Why can’t employers make a determination by the third or fourth interview?

I think we can also agree that making a determination after the first interview is also ludicrous. It’s like bringing a girl or boy home after a week of knowing them and telling your parents that you’re getting married.

I’ve heard my share of piss poor interviews my clients have endured. One that comes to mind is a phone interview that consisted of a list of inane questions such as, “What is your greatest weakness,” “Where do you want to be in five years,” and, believe it or not, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you want to be?”

Do you get the idea? Employers who ask questions like these lack creativity and don’t have a strategy in plan. Back to the job ad and knowing what employers want in their next hire: the questions asked should pull the best out of candidates. They should be directly related to the requirements of the job.

Behavioral-based questions are the best questions. They are the ones that show customer awareness. Sure, hard technical questions are also necessary to determine who is the most qualified, but they alone aren’t enough. Do the candidates a solid and make them dig deep into their story bag to prove their worth.

Follow through

I say that the interview is a deal breaker when it comes to customer awareness. A close second is follow through, or there lack of. This phase of the process is not the sole responsibility of the recruiter; much of it relies on hiring managers who must communicate to the go-between. They must play a larger part in the process.

All too often hiring managers feel that filling a role that will make their lives easier, don’t invest enough in the process. Recruiters pull their hair out trying to get a pulse from the hiring manager. Candidates sit by the phone waiting to hear from the recruiter. No, the real problem is the hiring manager.

For the sake of the hiring manager and the company’s brand, they must, must, must treat their next valuable resource with respect. When they say they’ll make a decision in a week, make that decision, or at the very least keep the recruiter and the candidates in the loop. Candidates can take the truth.

Much mudslinging and some strong suggestions have been made. To do the employer a service, the next article will focus on what job candidates must do to demonstrate excellent customer awareness. Namely, they must:

  1. Research the position and company
  2. Write a resume that speaks to the employer, not the ATS
  3. Perform well in the interview
  4. Follow up respectfully.