Most of those responsible for recruitment, in one capacity or another, understands that a recruitment process can be time consuming and complex.  Finding the right candidate is an art in itself. Thankfully, irrespective of the complexity of the process, most of us will reach our goal and hire the right candidate.

Let me ask you this:

As a candidate applying for a new job, have you ever experienced that you have not received any feedback in relation to the application?

Unfortunately, I know the answer that most of you would give. It is a yes.

As a company recruiting talent to your business directly, (not through an external recruiter) have you ever been in situations in which you have not given feedback to all the candidates that applied for your vacancy?

For many companies the answer will be a yes and those people should be ashamed and embarrassed.

As a recruitment Company / Head-hunter recruiting talent on behalf of a client of yours, have you been in a situation in which you have not given feedback to all the candidates that applied for your vacancy?

Once again, I suspect the answer for many of you is a clear yes. You too should be ashamed and embarrassed.

Forgive me for sounding angry or going on a rant in this post but those of you who have read some of my previous texts understands that there is one thing I am incredibly passionate about: A positive candidate experience during a recruitment process. As a result, I am hoping that this text will reach out to all those “sinners” out there so that you can truly see that what you do (or should I say what you don`t do) is unprofessional, disrespectful and ignorant. By sharing this article, you too can be a part of making sure that job applicants, world-wide will have a better experience next time he or she applies for a position.

If you open the door then you should also close it

Door 1When we recruit, we are effectively giving an open invitation to candidates in the market place to open some kind of communication with us.  We “open the door” for candidates to call us, send us their CV or attend an interview.  To be fair, most people who work in or with recruitment are very good at this part of the process but then again there is something in it for them…

On the other side, the same people seem to forget that the door also needs closing. Yes, they suddenly forget about the tens or hundreds of candidates that will not be called in for an interview. These candidates are no longer important so why waste my time replying to them…..

So here we are. Whether you are in the US, UK, Norway or India, the same problems exists and it frustrates several millions of candidates on a daily basis. Many of those responsible for recruitment see no interest in, or do not have the decency to provide a tiny little bit of feedback to those who perhaps spent 3-4 hours studying the company and the role. It is such a shame if you ask me. Naïve it is too.

Unfortunately, it gets worse.

Today, many companies have a “policy” which states they only provide feedback to candidates` who secure an interview.  What kind of “policy” is this?  If you can make time to write a silly policy like this then you also have time to provide some feedback to a the applicant. An applicant by the way that has perhaps spent hours preparing their CV and Covering letter.  If you do not have time for this?  Well, then you have, in my humble opinion, no right to work in recruitment in any capacity whatsoever.

The three significant paradoxes:

  1. Both companies and the many “job experts” we hear from on a daily basis through media and social media stress that as a job seeker you must spend a significant amount of time studying the role and the company you are applying for. You need to spend time preparing a unique CV and Covering letter to make sure that the application is as relevant as possible with regard to the role and the company. This of course demands a lot of time, but still needs to be done.

The paradox: Many of the companies and job experts that provide this kind of advice do the opposite themselves.  Yes, they choose to spend next to no time dealing with the applicants that may be irrelevant and of no interest to them.  Pretty “rich” if you ask me.

  1. Many recruiters become frustrated and at times angry when they receive a high number of applicants for position when the majority of the applicants are not relevant at all.  I have also experienced receiving applications in which would be better suited to a shop floor job in a supermarket than to the Project Management position I had advertised.  Of course, this is frustrating but we do not solve the problem by NOT telling these applicants why they are of no interest to us. It is also of no help to these candidates to stumble upon companies that have a “policy” that states exactly this.

The paradox: If we had set aside some time (perhaps only a minute) to write a few lines on email as to why the candidate is not relevant then there is a much greater chance that these same candidates will not apply for positions of this nature in the future.  This of course in turn means that the recruiter will save important time and costs in the future.

  1. Companies often spend a significant amount of money every year on what is often referred to as Learning and Development (L&D).  Sounds flash doesn’t it?  These companies also find it very satisfying to tell the whole world about their L&D programmes by panting their website full of L&D jargons and other b….sh….t.  Unfortunately, these companies forget one important aspect of being successful: Have you ever heard the saying: “Practice what you preach”?

The paradox: If L&D is as important as most people believe it to be, wouldn’t it then be obvious that the company also portray this during the hiring process and not just talk about it?  Wouldn’t this also show that the company takes L&D very seriously and that the company genuinely believe L&D has some value as opposed to it being just another corporate b….hit term?  If a job seeker can learn why they are not successful in the application process and develop their application skills from this the company’s feedback, then it will become easier for the job seeker to do a much better job on his or her next application. Difficult it isn`t.


As we move into the middle of Q1 in 2015, it is clear that the global economy isn`t as strong as we perhaps hoped it would be and as a result we are experiencing that certain industries are having to lay off a high number of people, with the Oil and Gas Industry leading from the front. As a result, companies have to reduce their headcount and a high number of people will now be out in the market place looking for new jobs. Many of these people have never previously applied for a job while many have not written a CV for at least 20 years.  Due to this, feedback on job applications automatically becomes even more important than before. Those who are responsible for recruitment must surely feel some moral duty to teach the newly unemployed how to get the most out of their job applications? If that is the case, what is the best way of doing this?  Simple; to provide feedback throughout the process so that applicants can learn and develop. L&D remember?

People who are made redundant often receive redundancy packages from their employer in which include some kind of allowance for job-seeking courses. Often these courses are incredibly advanced and one learns about the importance of having a firm handshake, sitting up straight in the interview, when to have a sh…t and when not to have a sh…t and last but not least “make sure you look the interviewer in the eyes during the interview. (Ideally dress smart too). It is a shame to think that perhaps companies would not need to provide such packages to their redundant staff if we had been better over the last 30 years in providing detailed feedback during recruitment processes. Perhaps most people would have naturally already been job-seeking experts?  Maybe, just maybe, the redundancy packages would have been financially lower, something that wouldn`t go a miss in the current financial climate.

Let us all make sure we take some responsibility here. Please be so kind to close the door in the same manner you opened it. Candidates will learn from this and one thing is certain: You will save both time and cost.

If you for some reason don`t agree with this, well then I respect that, but please get yourself another job. Dealing with people is clearly not for you. All I can say to you is something I learned when I lived in the UK when someone fails to close a door;

Were you born on a barn?

Then this song is for you


5 thoughts on “No feedback on your job application? Disgraceful

  1. Hello Erik,
    An excellent article; it’s a shame there aren’t more recruiters out there that share the same philosophy!
    My experience with recruiters isn’t a positive one.

    “Like us on Facebook”
    Yes, a few of the responses I got actually had the gall to tell me that someone else had been found who was more suited, but to like the recruiters on Facebook anyway.

    No response at all
    Probably one of the worst really, like everything in the world, not knowing what’s happening with something you are depending on can be really stressful; “do I wait out for that one, do I carry on looking elsewhere, what if the recruitment companies just see me as applying for everything going, what if………….”

    Last week, I got the standard rejection letter from a company… “so what’s unusual in that Pete, rejection is all part of the process”
    This was a rejection letter for a job I applied for 15 MONTHS ago! I resisted every temptation to reply and glad I was grown up enough to laugh about it instead.

    It’s hard work writing the perfect CV each time, frustrating when you get nothing back and disappointing when you do, but as is said, to fail is to stop trying, so I’ll keep trying and to quote the great Gene Krantz “Failure is not an option”


  2. Thanks for sharing you views and story better. Interesting reading and you are spot on here. The “like us on Facebook” is just a joke of you ask me and shows how poor some people have become at the recruitment game.


  3. Like everything in life, there is good and bad. Unfortunately, the few bad ones can muddy the waters for the many good ones, I can imagine it’s just as frustrating for the reputable recruiters Erik.


    1. As they say, it is a dog-eat-dog world. I’m trying for my 3rd job now in my whole working life.
      The first was easy; 2 arms, legs, eyes and ears and a functioning brain and 13 years of military service as a technician; the second was my first experience at the hands of recruit agencies and I ended up in the fire and rescue business as a support engineer (without the recruiters help I might add)
      The experience back then (25 years ago) wasn’t that much different from now; no acknowledgement, few replies and never any feedback, apart from “we have found someone more suited to the post advertised”
      Looking at it on a lighter side, you could say “in an ever changing world, it is comforting to know that some things will never change and are as consistent now as they have ever been”
      Now back to looking for my “Holy Grail” someone must be crazy enough to take me on 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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