4 Reasons You’re Not Hearing From Employers About Your Remote Applications
“Ghosting” of job applicants, or not hearing from employers, has become increasingly common. The practice—which refers to a recruiter or hiring manager ignoring a candidate who applied for a position by intentionally or unintentionally not responding to them or providing any feedback or updates on the hiring process—used to be less common just a few years ago. A 2019 study revealed that, previously, the trend was for some job candidates to ghost employers.
But in 2021, the primary ghoster flipped from hiring manager to applicant. Over three-quarters of job seekers surveyed indicated that they had been ghosted by a prospective employer. With many jobs now virtual, many applicants are not hearing from employers about their remote applications.
Why do Employers Ghost Candidates?
Here are four reasons that may be behind the frustrating job search situation of being abandoned midstream in this important part of career communication:
Managers Are Overwhelmed
If you thought that hiring managers and recruitment teams were busy before the COVID-19 pandemic started, that’s nothing like what today’s leaders are facing. Everyone has more to accomplish with less time than ever. The Great Resignation—in which employees have been leaving their jobs in droves—is leaving employers exhausted and overworked. Many people, including supervisors, are juggling more personally at the same time than they were just a few years ago.
This can be particularly true for remote applications, since hiring teams may be flooded with applicants for remote jobs, and much that comes in through the transom, unsolicited, just won’t be a fit for the position. With only so many hours in a day, managers have to make choices about where to put their limited time and energy—and dealing with their existing “skeleton crew,” plus managing communications with the applicants they plan to interview and hire, may be all the bandwidth they have.
While it’s not polite to fail to respond to certain applicants, if you haven’t heard back from employers about your remote application, then they may be sending you a message that no news is bad news—you’re not in the running for the job.
You Lack the Qualifications the Employer Wants
On a related note, if you don’t have the skills and background that the employer is looking for to fit their remote job, they may blow you off for the reason above.
While it may be nice to receive some confirmation of your rejection in a “Thanks, but no thanks” email, swamped hiring managers don’t have time to send out upwards of hundreds of these emails for each job posting to communicate with each and every applicant. If you aren’t well qualified for the remote role, you may get ghosted.
You Sent Out the Same Cover Letter and Resume to Multiple Jobs
It may save you time on the front end to use a templated cover letter and resume for your application materials when sending out your remote applications. But this is a classic case where shortcuts lead to long delays—or potentially no response at all.
It’s easy for an experienced manager to tell when you’ve provided a generic response to their job posting, rather than customizing your statements to address the employer’s exact needs. If you don’t bother to tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific remote position that you’ve applied for, then don’t be surprised if what you hear in return are crickets.
The Hiring Team May Have Chosen an Internal Candidate
Some positions that are posted on job boards are merely formalities, in which a manager is checking the box by making the remote position publicly available. But even though the role appears to be available, the hiring team may already have an in-house candidate teed up for the spot as a near shoo-in.
While some external candidates may get call-backs just for comparison’s sake, or even land initial interviews, it can be hard to compete with the next-in-line internal candidate for a remote job. So, if you’re ghosted by an employer as a strong candidate who did everything right in your remote application, the reason may be that you got beat out by someone who already works at the company.
When Ghosted, Keep Your Spirits Up
It can be stressful and frustrating to be left twisting in the wind by not hearing from employers after you’ve sent in a remote application, but these days, it has become very common. If you’re ghosted for a remote job that you really wanted, be aware of the multitude of reasons that an employer may not be getting back to you, keep your spirits up, and move on in your job search.
For more remote work tips, check out our articles.
By Robin Madell | Categories: Work Remotely
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