So you polished up your resume, you built a stellar list of references, and you got yourself submitted to some IT jobs that look perfect for you. But lo and behold, your IT staffing firms called you to let you know you didn’t land the job (or maybe even the interview). What happened? What should you do? Here’s a little insider info from IT recruiting firms.
Why didn’t you get the job? There are a lot of factors why people are rejected from the hiring process. You may never know which reasons apply to you, but it can be a comfort to know them, because many of them are completely out of your control and have nothing to do with your marketability as an IT professional. Here are the main reasons IT recruiters see people rejected from a job.
- The project or the role changed. This happens all the time, especially with more technical roles. The kinds of projects that IT professionals work on are subject to change for all the usual reasons a company’s project changes, but also because technologies themselves change so quickly. Perhaps a company plans to use Angular for a project, but decides they’d like to move on to a hotter new technology and use Angular 2. That means the roles they’re hiring for drastically change, just like that! Roles will also change if they’ve been open for a long time. If a company is having a hard time finding the perfect software developer, the life cycle development of a project still won’t stop. A team could need a software developer with different skills as the project progresses.
- You weren’t a culture fit. This may seem like a small thing compared to technical acumen, but IT staffing agencies find that it’s not. In fact, one of our own technical recruiters estimates that culture fit issues account for 50-60% of the candidate rejections he sees! The days of heads-down coders are over and Scrum and Agile are all the rage. Companies usually want a team that gels well, because they’ll be working together closely. For roles that are client-facing or customer service oriented, this becomes all the more imperative. If, for instance, you’re applying for a Helpdesk role or Sales Engineer role, having a warm, engaging personality is one of the explicitly stated job requirements.
- Maybe other candidates really were just better. It’s natural to feel like you’re the best candidate for the job. The truth is, though, you’ll almost always be competing against other candidates. You never know if your completion has more experience, a better arsenal of technologies at their disposal, or is just more pleasant to work with. You may always feel like you’re the best fit for the job, but statistically speaking, you can’t always be the best fit for the job. Sometimes another candidate is a better match.
What can you do if you don’t get the role?
- You can start by politely asking your IT recruiters for feedback. If they have it, they’ll often be happy to share. It could be that you can get actionable feedback, like a suggestion to get more experience with a particular technology, or that you came across as rude in your interview. On the other hand, sometimes there is no feedback.
- It’s important not to try to argue your candidacy with the recruiter, and especially not the hiring manager. This strategy never lands somebody the job. In fact, often it burns a bridge and blacklists you at that company in the future. Hiring managers don’t appreciate being told that they don’t know how to make good decisions for their teams. They also don’t want to hire people who look arrogant. You will likely accomplish one or both of those if you push back when a hiring manager rejects you.
- Try to remember that if you don’t land a job, it’s like dodging a bullet. Whether you’re rejected by IT staffing companies at the application stage or later after an interview, what you’re essentially hearing is that the employer doesn’t have confidence you’d be successful in the role. Even if you could do the role just fine, who wants to work in a job where their boss isn’t sure they can hack it? A rejection is just saving your from pain down the road and opening you up for a job that you can succeed and be happy in.
About AVID Technical Resources
AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.