Answers to 5 Common Frustrations with HR

Frustrated with your job search?

HR can be frustrating to even the most patient job seeker

Looking for a job is not easy, and unchecked frustrations only add to the anxiety levels.  By now, you have already developed some of your own pet peeves about the hiring process.  Do any of these sound familiar?


  1. Why won’t they send a rejection letter?  I just want to know either way…

It’s cheap to be rude.  HR is swamped with hundreds of resumes.  Rejection letters are the very bottom of their priority list.  Even an automated reply requires updating the data base.  To help get around this time-consuming tasks, many companies now use an automated response when you apply to the job, which includes statements like “We will contact you if your skills and experience is appropriate for the position.” If you don’t hear back from a company within 4-6 weeks, it’s safe to assume you didn’t make the cut.


  1. If a job closes in two weeks, why do they leave the ad on an employment site for two months?

There could be two reasons for this.  First, HR departments get so busy moving forward with the screening process that they forget to take the job down.

Second, they want to keep the field open.  If the top candidates fall through, it costs money to re-list the job opening.  However, keeping the same posting up costs no extra cash.


  1. I interviewed but didn’t get the job.  When I asked for feedback as to why, I only got vague and generalized answers.  Why?

Legal reasons.  No company will open this can of worms. Hiring decisions are confidential to thwart any possible appearance that discrimination occur – note that is the appearance, not the actual presence of discrimintation.  In our lawsuit happy society, it is HR’s duty to protect the company from any real or imagined threat.

If you are working with an outside recruiter, you might get better feedback; however, even this answer will be guarded.  This is another reason why it is helpful to work with a job search counselor to gain professional advice and critiques.


  1. How can I research blind ads to get directly to the hiring manager?

First of all, a blind ad is any job posting that does not list the company name or any direct contact information.  This is very frustrating to job seekers who want to research the company before submitting a resume.
HR departments run blind ads specifically to block job seekers from knowing who they are, or who the hiring managers may be.  However, if you are in touch with your industry and staying on top of the business news, you might be able to make an educated guess.
If you can’t deduce the company, submit your best cover letter and resume for the situation.  While you can’t discuss their specific business, use some tricks from this book to stand out from the crowd.


  1. I got strong feedback from the interviewers that I had the job, but the company decided to not hire anyone.  Why go through the motions?

Their priorities changed, which probably had nothing to do with you.  However, if you can convince the potential employer that you will either save the company money or make money (or both), the hiring manager or HR person is more likely to champion your cause.

Fall hiring season heats up

In case you hadn’t noticed, August 2011 showed an increase in the amount of recruiter jobs posted on conventional employment websites like and  That’s good news for the rest of the job market – it means that employers are still planning to do their hiring push for the fall months of September, October and November.

Traditionally speaking, companies hire in the fall to take advantage of their remaining budget for the year.  Many departments face a “use it or lose it” mentality on their allocated funds by the end of the year.  Now they realize that they must hire, or else possibly lose the new person for the coming year.

Considering the stock market insanity during the beginning of August, there was real concern that the fall hiring season may not happen at all.  While some market segments are down, it is a promising sign that contract recruiter jobs in a variety of industries are on the rise.

Private service sees a spike during this time of year as well; families are back from vacation, children are back in school and it is time to think about adding staff before the holidays.

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