Getting the cold shoulder

Hi guys,
Recently I’ve been in contact with an ID studio in Chicago, and it seemed to me that things were going well. I interviewed there a couple times, and even worked there as a freelancer for a day a few weeks ago. Since then, however, I haven’t been able to get in touch with the head of the studio (my main contact at the company). I’ve called and left a message with one of the employees there and I’ve sent 2 follow up emails, but I haven’t heard anything back.

I’m just confused because I thought my day there went really well, and it seemed like they would be having me come back on a fairly regular basis to work on freelance projects. People have told me that I should be vigilant about following up with this particular company, but I’ve heard nothing back and I’m afraid I’ll start to annoy them if I call too much.

Is there anything else you guys think I can do? I really like this company and would love to work there full time.

Be patient. You’ve done the right things. They aren’t ignoring you because they want you to go away. More likely they don’t have a need that fits your capabilities at present. Sometimes it just means you have to sit tight.

Could be one of two things:

  1. They’re swamped with work, and bringing someone in just isn’t a priority right now.
  2. They didn’t share the same enthusiasm you did.

Either way, there’s no precedent to reach out to you and give you the news, good or bad. If it’s been a few weeks, time to move on.

They did say before that they were pretty swamped, so I hope it’s just that. They also mentioned that they were going to be expanding/hiring this year, so I want to stay on their radar. Would a once a month check in be too much?

Maybe I am misinterpreting what you wrote, but the precedent is called professionalism.

I interviewed at a particular Chicago firm, 3 times, each time with a different group for 1-2 hours each, they said they would get back to me in a week. That was 6 years ago. The poetic justice is they cold call where I work now. Never burn a bridge.

As for the OP, I see no harm in contacting them once a month. At the very least it will remind them of their unprofessionalism.

I once did get a warning from an HR rep explaining the company has an extremely slow hiring process. I am still not sure if it was their sneaky way of saying “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

The last consultancy I worked with was pretty slow with hiring and it was pretty much always tied to budgetary concerns – they would wait and wait to hire until a either a new project was landed or until a project went into a second phase (even if there was more than enough work to keep a new hire busy). Rather than potentially scaring off a rockstar hire by saying “we may not have enough cash to pay you” it seemed that standard procedure to have an information blackout. Whether it was actually this case or if all hands were scrambling to land a new client is unknown to me.

The professional approach, one I would both use as an employer or hiring manager, and as a candidate, is a once-a-month check-in. Lots can happen in a month. That’s not too much to ask, for either party.

Perhaps precedent was a poor choice. I meant something more along the lines of a requirement. There’s nothing forcing them to call him back, though it certainly is unprofessional.

Agree with the once a month check in. More frequent than that would annoy me, personally.

Thanks for the advice everyone! I sent them an email today asking about any projects for march, and if I don’t hear back I’ll follow up late next month.

Non-responses are probably my greatest pet peeve in the professional world.

We’re all adults, we can handle being told “Sorry there’s not enough work right now, check back in two months from now” or “Sorry, we can’t take on your project right now.” A total lack of response, even after several follow-ups, is unbelievably rude, and leaves the original sender in limbo.

Even if you get 500 emails a day, a quick “Sorry, no vacancies” email takes all of two seconds to write.