Are Job Seekers Entitled To a Formal Response?

Over the last eight years I've heard from many people complaining about how corporations are like black holes when you are looking for a job. No matter how many times you try to contact them, you often can't even find out if they've received your job application. The following e-mail was especially interesting because the person who wrote it has seen this from both sides, as a job hunter and as someone hiring for their company. Do you agree with his position that corporations are rude and not fulfilling their end of the bargain in relation to people who apply for work from them? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Dear Working Wounded: I was laid off a while ago and have been hard at work trying to find a job. I've answered tons of want ads, networked my tail off and have approached every company in the area in my industry. I've learned one thing from job-hunting; that corporations today are rude, bordering on obnoxious. Would it kill them to have a form letter to send out confirming that they've received my application? A brief e-mail to say that I'm under consideration for the job? Even a short phone call saying that they've hired someone else for the position?

Apparently this is too much to ask. Corporations mount massive direct-mail campaigns, have sophisticated e-mail systems and huge HR departments, but it's too much to ask them to take pity on a poor job hunter by throwing them even the smallest crumb of information during a very stressful time.

I was raised to believe that manners mattered. I'm shocked and depressed that corporations don't feel the same way. They feel that they can run roughshod over job seekers and show them absolutely no respect.

Ironically, in my last job I hired a few people. Sure, it took time to contact people who'd applied and keep the candidates posted on their status. But I made it a point to make sure that every applicant knew where they stood in the process. E-mails make this easier, because it's just so convenient to hit "reply" and at least give people information.

I've found that people are extremely appreciative to get an update on their status. Communicating with applicants is not only merely considerate, but it also sets your company apart from others. Applicants always went out of their way to thank us for taking the time to do this. A form letter is not difficult to prepare. Yet, larger companies than ours can't be bothered. How rude. Do I really want to work for a company that treats me like chattel during the application process? Do I really want to use their products or services? No. I've now got a list of companies that, come hell or high water, I won't ever deal with again.

Come on, you corporate snobs. Folks take the time to apply for your positions, the least you can do is let them know where they stand.


Article from CareerJournal Online January 2005