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Actually, Employers Aren’t Obligated To Call You Back


Robby

If you surveyed people looking for jobs in Indianapolis, it’s likely they all come up with the same set of frustrations. One of the biggest peeves of jobseekers is this: employers don’t return their calls.

Here’s a big list of what they don’t do…

  • They don’t write back to say they received your application.
  • They don’t return phone calls you made when inquiring about the position.
  • They don’t let you know they are still interviewing candidates.
  • They don’t tell you that the position has been filled.

This stuff can be downright upsetting to the jobseekers. It seems so rude! How could enormous companies capable of delivering amazingly complex products and services be incapable of such basic decency? The problem is so widespread, 75% of applicants don’t hear back! Surely, there is an explanation.

Angry Jobseeker
© Flickr User eVo photo

The folks over at Flexjobs ran a bunch of articles on these topics, including: Why Employers Don’t Respond to Job Applications and Why Employers Don’t Respond to Cover Letters and Why Employers Don’t Respond to Your Resume and of course Why Employers Don’t Respond After Job Interviews.

There are lots of answers there, most of which boil down to either a) The candidate made a mistake or b) Not responding is a strategic maneuver such as “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

But that’s not the reason you don’t hear back from companies where you’ve applied. It’s actually much more profound.

Briefcase
© Flickr User smelly13cat

The reason that employers don’t contact candidates is because they are the customer and you are the salesperson.

If you’ve worked even for a month in sales, you know that the open secret to sales is follow-up. Prospects do not return phone calls. You have to reach out to them again to check in. You have to drop by their office or send them notes in the mail. You have to nudge them on a frequent-but-not-too-frequent basis. You can’t just send over a proposal for a service that will cost tens of thousands of dollars per year and expect a prompt, detailed, and customized reply.

That’s not how sales works!

If you are a jobseeker, you are now a salesperson. Your product is you. Your marketing is how you present yourself. Your success is not in being an expert or having the right experience, but in how effectively you take responsibility for follow up!

In fact, companies do not have an obligation to get back to you. They are just prospects and you’re one of many people trying to sell them something.

Treat them like a customer. Guide them through the buying process. Take responsibility for moving the conversation forward. Get an answer–yes or no–because that’s what salespeople do.

Get out there and sell yourself.

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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Wed, December 18 2013 » Career Planning and Goal Setting, Corporate Culture, Success Consciousness

2 Responses

  1. Laura Neidig December 19 2013 @ 2:03 pm

    Helpful. I understand the reasoning here, and I imagine it is indeed what needs to be done – but in most cases, I still don't buy it. You're right about the basic decency lacking; it would be so easy for companies to leave such a positive impression by simply treating the jobseeker the way they would a customer – with at least common courtesy.

  2. robbyslaughter December 19 2013 @ 9:40 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Laura!

    I can understand the desire for better customer service. But you are not the customer. The company is *your* customer.

    Think about how customers treat the places where they shop. They browse, they stay past closing time, they ask for refunds and special deals, they want to be treated well but they don't treat store employees well.

    If you are seeking work, you are in sales! Don't expect the prospect to follow up with you. Instead, you have to follow up with them.

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