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What happened to professional courtesy?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sportsguydave, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    Just a brief rant here ...

    When did it become standard business practice in the newspaper business to completely blow off job applicants?

    I've applied for several positions in the past few months .. some recently, so the jury is still out on those. But some of them were over a month ago, and nothing. Not even a response to say, hey, we got your stuff, we'll be in touch. Nada.

    I realize that in our current market, even Podunk papers are getting a ton of applications. But really - how much time does it take to fire off a quick email to an applicant notifying them of the status of the search, or that the position has been filled/frozen? Especially in the summer ... which is down time for many paper.

    We had that come up at my shop last year ... I was looking to replace my departed assistant, but then the position was frozen. I emailed all the applicants ... more than 30 .. and let them know. I figured it was the professional thing to do.

    Many of these same places will specify, "No calls." Fine. But at least answer emails. We put a lot of time and energy into an application package. It would be nice to have that effort at least acknowledged.

    Rant over. :)
  2. sportsjunkie

    sportsjunkie New Member

    Uhh, it's not just newspapers.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    1991 at least.
  4. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    This crap has been going on forever.

    A favorite: Near-panicky SE calls up, says, "Get clips in the mail right away! I've got a spot open and I want to bring you in to fill it." So you stay up all night at Kinko's and FedEx a resume packet to the SE's paper. Weeks go by. Paint peels. You hear nothing. You find out later that a) they went into a hiring freeze or b) the guy moved on to other people without so much as a "Get bent!" in reply. This has happened twice to me and at least one each to three friends in the business.

    My experience is, hiring editors have been behaving rudely to job applicants for a long, long time. And sportsjunkie is right, these days -- empowered by the Web and little human interaction -- the screeners for lots of non-newspaper companies are equally bad.

    At least in the past, it felt like hazing or something, that if you could just get into the club, you'd achieve a special status. Now it's just a taste of how you'll be treated once you're in -- they treat current employees about as shabbily as applicants.
  5. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I don't have a problem with not getting a response from an application. But if you get to an interview, there really is no excuse.
  6. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    I'd have to agree. Maybe I'm a little more sensitive to this, being on both sides of the table in such a short period of time. But sheesh .. recently we even had a place that apparently thought a post on our message board was a proper way to tell applicants thanks, but no thanks.

    I guess it's too much to expect to be treated the way I treat others, huh?? ::)
  7. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Agreed. Interview is one thing. Applying for a job and not hear anything? It's almost expected.

    I applied for a job that the person doing the hiring I used to work with and consider a good friend. Haven't heard a word.

    Of course, I interviewed at the same place (person wasn't in charge of the hiring, but had a say so in it). I'm still waiting to hear I didn't get the job. It was more than two years ago.

    But it happens. I'm happy when I DO get an e-mail or response to a job I applied for. That's the way it is in this market.
  8. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    And let's remember, places are getting overrun with applications for any jobs they post.

    Here's an example:


    163 applications for a job in the first three days. At a weekly.
  9. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    That was the professional thing to do and you did it. It's a low-class move to not respond to applicants, but that's to be expected nowadays. Congrats to you for being professional and doing the right thing.
  10. jagtrader

    jagtrader Active Member

    That was sobering to read.
  11. Taylee

    Taylee Member

    From another perspective. Last job opening we had resulted in almost 300 resumes, about 175 of which came in the first four days. I was doing both the job of the SE and ASE and that doesn't mean sitting on my ass watching the process. My only day off of the week, I spent about 12 hours reading through those 175 and sending replies. For me, it's not enough just to send a note that says, "Resume received." I try to put some individual thought into my responses. The job description was specific as were the job requirements, yet more than half came from those not even close to qualifying for the job. Do I still spend hours replying to those or is a form response OK? It's a tough call, but either one takes significant time. Should the person sending the resume know he/she isn't qualified? It's frustrating to seek, for example, a "copy editor with three years experience at a daily" only to receive resumes from recent college grads with writing experience or from veteran writers in the business who send a list of writing awards they've won and never mention the ability or desire to edit copy? Only a couple noted a lack of qualifications, but added that if the position is filled from within to consider them for that opening. And while I'm on a roll, for those of you sending resumes, make sure to get the names of the person and company correct. I don't think someone deserves a response when a resume is sent to "Steve" when my name is "Scott"
    There it is. Have at it.
  12. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    This is all part and parcel of a sad lack of management skills by supervisors within the newsroom. With very few exceptions, none of them took any courses in college in how to relate to people in term of doing job interviews, hiring, firing, etc. It's the same reason why they're also so lacking in knowledge of laws regarding wages, hours and other labor situations, and think they can tell you that you won't be paid for overtime or while you're stuck in an airport, etc. They have no clue. Some of been able to learn on the fly and do good jobs, mainly because they're people persons. Others simply suck at every aspect of dealing with people in a professional work environment.
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