Rich Lemert wrote:Your challenge presents a false dichotomy; it assumes that technical competence is the only requirement that is/should be considered when making a hiring decision. I would certainly be willing to consider hiring someone with greater skills because it would help make me more successful, but not if that person is someone who is going to make me feel ill every time I see him.
I agree that common courtesy suggests providing a response - at least to someone you've actually talked to. There are many reasons why a manager might not do so, however, whether or not you think any of them are "legitimate". Complaining about it is not going to change anything, however, and I feel my time is more wisely spent moving on to other, more fruitful activities.
I would suggest, however, that one reason I (at least) would be less inclined to respond to someone is if they demonstrate a tendency to hold on to an issue beyond reason. Regardless of how many ways you try to rephrase the issue, I sincerely doubt that anyone here is going to tell you "yes, you're absolutely right - that person is a total jerk" - and even if someone did say that, what have you gained?
It is also a false dichotomy to assume most hiring decisions are all about personality. I have colleagues that have great personalities but they would make lousy scientists. Since the company pays an employee to solve problems, not necessarily to be well liked, competencies and expertise have to be considered; otherwise, if it is all about personality, the group becomes a fraternity house or day spa. I have seen this happen and I can tell you my former boss, a CEO and billionaire entrepreneur, cared a lot more about getting the job done well. Results and then relationships; if the relationship soured because of a bad personality and couldn't be worked around, get rid of the individual.
Frankly, I don't want to be hired based solely on personality. I wanted to be hired because my boss respects my talent and expertise first and knows we have a mutual trust for each other. Personality is second in my opinion to this. When someone hires one based entirely on their personality, they are only one argument away from being fired.
What makes me ill is when I spend a considerable amount of time networking (researching companies, findings leads, tailoring resumes, editing cover letters, learning about specific companies, learning about specific areas of research at a company) and my enquiry goes unanswered because someone is unwilling to reply. I try to take it in stride and realize things happen. I know I can't force someone to be polite when they are being unreceptive.
The reason I ask the question and why I persist with the question is because engagement in networking is so important in building trust and getting cooperation. Networking is a two way street that requires a willingness of both sides to listen and respond. Are there ways to improve my response rate?
If nobody responds to an polite enquiry, how far do you persist it in the name of perseverance?
In the past, I had been quite effective with cold calling and emailing using a list of target companies. By phone, I would find out who is in charge of what, what skills managers would like to see, what their background was, talk with investor relations, ask about job leads, get referrals, etc. The reason I did this was because it was far more effective and less time consuming by phone than apply online or emailing someone for a simple question like who in charge of X?
Now when I try this at some companies, I face a lot more obstacles (gatekeepers) and objections than in the past. Some manager, less experienced, can even seem annoyed by the approach and others, often higher up, appreciate the initiative and perseverance. So when you get a non-responder do you persist and for how long?