Most Employers Don't Bother To Respond To Job Applications, Survey Finds

job seekers rude employers hiringIt's become the most frustrating aspect of the job search in recent years: silence. You submit your application online and then it goes into what has been called the resume "black hole." Despite using keywords and attaching a stellar cover letter, you receive no response from the employer -- not even a note of rejection.


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Now, a new survey by CareerBuilder, a sponsor of AOL Jobs, finds that employer rudeness is no longer the exception but the rule. Of the 3,900 people surveyed, 25 percent said they had a bad experience as a job applicant at some point, whether that was the employer not bothering to acknowledge the application or not letting them know the decision after the interview. But even more disconcerting, of the 1,083 respondents who said they'd applied for a job in the last year, a whopping 75 percent of them said they hadn't heard back from at least one employer.

Recent research by staffing industry consulting firm CareerXRoads found that even companies revered for their employee relations treated job candidates poorly. The firm conducted an experiment in which it created a resume for a fictional job seeker, "Charles Brown," and submitted it to open positions at every company on Fortune's 2012 list of the Best Companies to Work For. It found that only 28 percent of the companies even bothered to notify Brown that he didn't get the job. "That indicates that most companies still lack a basic understanding of how they should be managing candidates," the report said.

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11 Comments

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robbins1940

Sadly this is becoming the norm. 500 job applications, 4 replies, no job.

Yesterday at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Defender

The way I see it, if they don't communicate back whether they want you or not then they are not worth working for.
Who would want to work for a company like that anyway?

October 16 2013 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
guitarpack

My wife and I own a small little coffee and ice cream shop that employes ten people. When we put an ad on Craig's List for a new employee we get two to three hundred responses. Two thirds of them haven't read the ad because they are either applying for a completely different job or are looking for something that the job doesn't offer (for example, if it's part time they want full time or if it's full time, they want part time). The majority of them don't bother to proof read their resumes or make any effort in sending out a resume that's readable. We may finally narrow the resumes down to ten people. We don't have time to respond to the other 290 applicants. Then, when you call the ten people for an interview, five of them don't return the phone call. You book an interview with five people and two or three of them don't even show up for the interview. As an employer for two different types of business, this is what we've come to expect.

February 25 2013 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carolyn

To add some perspective here, when I started in HR in the early to mid 1990's, just before the widespread use of the internet, we may typically have received about 50 or so resumes or applications in response to a job posting. By the time I left my former position at the same company around 2009, we actually received 500-600 resumes in response to a position we had posted. The company was not huge and not all that advanced on technology, so we did not have the capability even of sending a "mass email" to follow up with the 500+ people who applied just for that one position, so following up with each person would have meant individual emails or phone calls (there were 2 people in the HR department). Had recruiting been our only responsibility, perhaps we could have attempted the task, but when you are also responsible for every other aspect of the HR department, you have to make choices as to how to spend your time the most productively.

February 25 2013 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bigglesmom3

boo hoo for HR being overwhelmed, isn't the entire work force regardless of job, overwhelmed. I have been searching for 6 mths in the healthcare field and have gotten 3 replies. And have applied at one hospital 52 times. That's ridiculous! And when I did have a job I was expected to do it no matter how overwhelmed. Imagine me telling you that your loved one died because I was overwhelmed and couldn't get to him. Tsk Tsk for such lame excuses

February 25 2013 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello Jess

HR managers are overwhelmed. For every person who applies for a position there are four more who are unqualified which completely clogs up the system. Sending a response to each person who applies even with a canned email can be cumbersome especially for small to midsize companies who operate lean.

February 25 2013 at 12:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Hello Jess's comment
wendygoerl

You can blame the unemployment rules for that. When I was using it, you had to turn in one application a week to get your unemployment check. Around here, you only have to be unemployed for a few months before you run out of qualified jobs and have to start applying for jobs you know you're not suited for. And then they decided to require TWO applications per week. . .

February 25 2013 at 1:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cbsguards

Then look at their sales force who sends thousands of letters, marketing material and anything else they can
Bottom line is they don't make money from those they are not hiring and therefore could care less what happens to them

February 25 2013 at 1:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jimbosr

Send a very brief CV....your name,education,background experience(marketing,acctg.,engineering,computer specialty,etc.).Then list your top three accomlishments in current career.Forget $$ and all the other superfluous BS.Make it easy and quick to read.If they want more detail you'll get a call.

February 25 2013 at 12:21 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jimbosr's comment
cbsguards

Most use computers to view the CV's if the departed words are not used you do not get a second look

Your method would hurt every applicant

February 25 2013 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Lewis

This is news?

Job-seekers have been complaining about this trend for years now--resume scanning computer 'bots now can many resumes, so a human eye never even sees them for evaluation. Why do you think so many firms now require that your resume be submitted over the Internet?

February 23 2013 at 5:38 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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