Why companies take so long to reply?

Currently i'm waiting again to hear about a junior designer position i applied for. It's been over a month since last contact (sent them cd and emails etc) so i figure if they were going to hire me they'd have contacted me by now.

Another time i was told at interview "we'll let you know in a coupla weeks"...6 weeks later i emailed them as a prompt/reminder and thus eventually got a no.

I know they're busy and all, but is it really that hard to write a simple one or two line email letting me know, within 3 or 4 weeks. Sorry if this seems like a whinge..anyway, is there something i've not taken into consideration?
Others agree/disagree?

jacobt's picture

Maybe if are you're not happy waiting for a long period of time then you should just call them.

I think most delays happen because it takes a long time for developers to organise a contract with their publisher... and before that they'd need to know if they have access to the necessary talent pool. I'm sure there's a million and one other factors involved too..

J I Styles's picture

two quick points [:)]

1. most people are busy, occupied, burnt out, lazy, or tired; that mail from 1 of 20 potential candidates for a position is can wait a few minutes (and promptly forgotten) while they get that life or death email out for their CEO or publisher which is sitting just next ot it...

2. We all hate the phone. It interrupts our little world of squishing bugs or moving verts - which is exactly why you should use it.

Blitz's picture

Generally it just comes down to they can't be bothered. And then when you do ring them they get stroppy about it.
CYer, Blitz

Red 5's picture

Yes cutty, it's just plain rude when you don't get a reply. Not enough people stop and think how a simple email can greatly relieve the stress associated with trying to find a job.

Unfortunately many businesses think time and money are the only important issues and nothing else matters.

smeg's picture

The most important thing is to be persistent. Give them a call once a week - be very polite - and stay on their case until you get a clear response.

Don't sit back and wait for a response. Rarely works.

cheers

cutty's picture

Cheers all.

With the six week thing, yes, i probably should have contacted them earlier..thing is i *totally bombed* in the interview so i knew i wasn't going to get it..After a couple of weeks i probably should have just rung them, but some perverse thing in me wanted to see how long they would take to reply [;)]

They're not my only experiences, i'm not gonna name names with the negative experiences but i gotta say Pandemic were good, they contacted me when they said they would and gave me some feedback.

Jacana's picture

Regardless of the word Games being in the industry - it's just a business.

As we all know businesses run on profit. Interviews, phone calls, etc take time away from people who could otherwise being doing productive things in which they could be making profit.

Hiring a new person is a way to lose money. People know they will have to spare time for interviews, reading resumes, organising interviews, even discussing the people that were interviewd. Then you actually have to hire the person. Get them in to sign a contract and talk a bit more about things. Then you get them a new pc, new software, new desk, work out where to put them. Then they arrive. Someone has to take time to show them around. Make sure they can log into the network ok. Help get any missing software installed. Then the person takes time to get their pc set up to the way they want. Then there is the week or so of little to no productive time from that person as they get use to the company read up about the project they are working on etc.

Jacana's picture

I agree Marty :)

But then again another side of it - Why do people treat this industry as such a great place to work that they will sit there and wait for six weeks for a reply and then post on forums asking about it :)

In other industries people who haven't heard back in a week or two would say f'it and look somewhere else.

Maybe if people stopped and thought about it and went "Do I really even want to work for a company who takes 6 weeks to get back to me" and moved on then companies may start acting faster.

So long as there are people willing to wait around for a company then companies will make people wait :)

MoonUnit's picture

i think people wait because this is a pretty exclusive industry in australia it seems, the jobs are not abundant. So people have some patience in a hope that waiting it out will work.

Jacana's picture

quote:


Originally posted by MoonUnit

i think people wait because this is a pretty exclusive industry in australia it seems, the jobs are not abundant. So people have some patience in a hope that waiting it out will work.

But that's the point. Why do people sit here and complain about how they haven't heard back from a company or what ever then still want to work for that company?

Yes there are relative few jobs with lots of people competing for them.

People need to stop being so desperate to get into the industry that they will wait around for 6 weeks. That they will sell their souls and work 60 to 80 hour work weeks.

One big piece of advice I have been given is "Don't hold your breath for a job in the games industry. Go out and find a job in your chosen field outside of the industry. Work on your demo, work at betting your skills through your job, and you will get work at some stage."

I just think people need to place a bit more worth in themselves about what they do and do not deserve rather than selling themselves short for the possibility of a "dream job" with a company that can't even get back to them.

J I Styles's picture

quote:


So long as there are people willing to wait around for a company then companies will make people wait :)

Couldn't agree with that more [:)]
and that, unfortunately, is the reality of it.

cutty's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Jacana

Hiring a new person is a way to lose money. People know they will have to spare time for interviews, reading resumes, organising interviews, even discussing the people that were interviewd. Then you actually have to hire the person...

I think you've misinterpreted me a bit...the point is they did these initial things, looked at my resume and designs, had a 45 minute phone interview (as i said, i bombed) and then couldn't or didn't just send me a one-line 'thanks, but no'.
Special case if you like because I knew i had bombed so wasn't really interested in chasing it up. I certainly didn't sit there for 6 weeks hanging on a reply..i've got plenty of other things to work on.

"People need to stop being so desperate to get into the industry that they will wait around for 6 weeks. That they will sell their souls and work 60 to 80 hour work weeks."
Frankly, that's a bit ridiculous to infer that from my posts here. I value my work and think i can make a good contribution (within reasonable limits).
This thread is about a company going through the motions, having an interview then not replying. This company was/is a very well respected company. I still think their games are great, but i've soured on their HR..

However, you're all right about the pointlessness of posting on sumea about this. I should have taken it up with the company.

J I Styles's picture

quote:


Frankly, that's a bit ridiculous to infer that from my posts here

cutty: those where quite general statements, not aimed at just your situation.

I completely do agree with Jacana on this; our industry needs to grow up in more ways than one. And that's going to take people to realise that a job is just a job. Work is work. Yes, you can most definitely enjoy it, but at the end of the day you're being paid to produce a product. It's a business just like any other.

Blitz's picture

As far as working 60-80 hours a week, this is not something *special* to the games industry, it happens in any industry where people aren't paid by the hour. This includes but is not limited to software, computer hardware, plumbing, accounting, teaching, etc.
Any company that is pushing to meet a deadline (software ship date, trying to beat out the competitions latest card, mortgage repayments, enf of financial year, exam period) is either going to experience crunch time, or push back the deadline, unless they are extremely lucky or have huge wads. I don't think it's wise to look at the game industry as being so much worse in that department, and other jobs being all nice and 9-5 5 days a week. Lets face it, any job where you don't crunch is obviously boring :)
CYer, Blitz

J I Styles's picture

This will definitely be me going off on a tangent, so apologies there - I'll most likely add some random thoughts and string them togethor into a post :)

The point of this all, is that it's an expectation to do that overtime. It says so in black on the contract you sign exactly what it is. Quite frankly, time frames and work schedules budgetted to include 2 months of 14 hour days including Saturdays which is slotted in half a year away as an expectation is just ridiculous. Work is work, not a life replacement - don't expect me to work without any incentive or motivation. Pay me for the extra hours I work overtime, give me an hour to spend dinner at home with my partner and to get the dogs settled for the night, hell supply me food and drink.

People shrug at their thoughts of what a 60-80 hour work week is like - The reality is you're being asked to forget about your other commitments and obligations in life, to eat shit like a mcdonalds burger that's been sitting there the whole day for dinner for 2 months, to sit doing the same thing for near 14 hours straight. It's usually ok the first 3 days, but by the 4th you realise that although you're grudgingly prepared to do it, you don't have a choice. You can't say "no, tonight I'm mentally dead, and I just need to sleep."

Blitz's picture

To continue the tangent...
I would be genuinely surprised if an established company these days included overtime into their schedule, thats obviously not sane. This of course doesn't apply to start ups when you're generally part-owning the company and have a higher stake in the comapny and less money to hire staff with so you end up doing more work or your company dies :)
However, i also consider that with the constantly changing nature of the business, the constant changing of hardware, software libraries, audiences, and general unforseen issues, coupled with hard deadlines when a product must be shipped, means that almost never will a product of reasonable scale be shipped with no crunch time. Note that this definitely scales with the size of a project. One that is likely to take 6 months will be in less need of crunch time, because there is probably less that can go wrong. Crunch time is unavoidable if even a single parameter changes from previous projects, and generally you don't make the same thing twice.
I am also a big believer in company loyalty, meaning i will do whatever it takes to make sure the company i am employed by survives. It is of no use to myself, anyone else in the company, or the (australian) games industry as a whole if the company misses a milestone and can't pay everyone so they quit and the company collapses, just because people decided that crunch time was not required of them because they "have a life". I know this may sound harsh, but it is something i am, in a way, very passionate about. And like i said, this isn't unique to the games industry, but it may be more prevalent due to (most likely) trying to cram more "parameter changes" into a smaller block of time.
Final summary: Overtime should not be scheduled. Crunch time is a neccessary evil, unless you're extremely lucky, or working on a very dull project (dull in the way of changes). I do believe people should be reimbursed for their overtime, however not neccessarily by upfront cash/wages, royalty schemes can be good for this.
Of course, take what i say with a grain of salt, as i haven't worked in the industry as much as Mr. Styles, so maybe my tune will change when that happens, but i am quite sure in my gut that it will not :)
CYer, Blitz

Daemin's picture

A little ammendum to that is, that when you're young and without any attachments then you're much more likely not to care about what happens to your free time, as you'll probably spend it playing/making games anyway, and it's still damn "cool" for you to be working etc. However when you get a family and other commitments then your life has a little bit more importance to it, like a small child with a partner would mean that you should be home more often to be the good father (or mother) to it etc.

Although once they grow up they might think that your career is the coolest - I mean how many people's dads or mums are professional Game Developers?!?

smeg's picture

good Gamasutra article on crunch time:

"Manager In A Strange Land: Crunch" by Jamie Fristrom http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20040123/fristrom_01.shtml
There are two schools of thought about crunch time--"We can't be competitive if we don't crunch" and "Studies have shown that programmers are at their most effective when they only work n hours a day." Jamie Fristrom explains why both camps are right, and details his experiences in using it sparringly.

Blitz's picture

Interesting thing about that article is they state that developers are most efficient doing 10 hours work/day. I wonder how many studios have a standard 9am-8pm working day :)
CYer, Blitz