Being ignored again after art test. Anyone know why this happens?

Yes, yes, I will continue to apply to other jobs in the meantime, but since this kind of thing has been happening to me a lot I'm really getting curious as to why this kind of behavior seems to have entered the norm within this industry. 

To explain my current situation, I performed an art test for a company a couple of weeks ago. In my email with the attached art test results I made sure to ask them how soon I should be expecting feedback, just to make sure they have a reason to reply back to me in case they omit the courtesy of confirming that they've received the artworks, etc... Nope, no reply whatsoever. After a week of continued silence I write a polite follow up email, this time asking them at the very least to confirm they got my artworks. Five days later, still nothing, and I'm now writing this thread... It's really bothersome because I for one don't like doing these tests. I put a lot of time and effort into these all the while being stressed for an entire week, not to mention I don't get compensated. So completely ignoring me at this point seems incredibly rude. 

Anyways, I would be interested to know if anyone has some insider knowledge on what goes on when these people ignore you at this point in the application. If it were just a one-time thing I would write it off as a fluke and the guy just being an ass or incompetent but the problem seems to be systemic, honestly. I don't doubt that HR gets swamped and all that but in every instance I had with them they were more or less readily replying to questions and requests BEFORE the art test and after all we're talking about a simple reply that's two minutes of their time, never mind the fact that it should be part of their job anyway. Seriously, a "thank you for your submissions. The relevant person will review your work and we will let you know once we can share feedback" would suffice. 

So what do y'all think is going on? I get the impression that once they get what they want out of you they put you off their priority task list or something, meaning your emails won't even get read, and will only get back to you if higher-ups actually issues to further the application process. If that's the case I think this kind of policy really needs to change. Courtesy goes a long way and it’s not a big sacrifice at all to make in the interest of efficiency or whatever.

Replies

  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor polycount lvl 666
    People will treat you like shit until they believe they have something to gain from you. It's not different from being homeless. You can starve and die, nobody is going to care.

    It's depressing because that's not how humans have evolved to interact with each other. But that's the behavior our culture makes necessary. You either have to join them and flip on the apathy switch, or find your own way to make a living.

  • Maned_Wolf
    @PolyHertz Still, I think it's hardly an effort to let the candidate know about the situation whatever the case may be. It's the complete non-response that is so infuriating. It is at least for me. 

    Review of the candidate's test is out of the hands of the human resource agent or recruiter. I don't hold them accountable for that, for sure. But communication is still a big part of their job. Letting the candidate know they've received your test and will get back to you once they have feedback at least lets the candidate know their application did not get lost somewhere along the way and that there's at least some kind of process set in due course. 
  • Eric Chadwick
    It can be difficult not hearing back, and I agree it's impolite.

    However that is the state of the vast majority of the industry. Better to accept it, and work around it.

    If you bother people for feedback that they don't want to give, all that does is make them want you even less, and it ends up shutting the door completely.

    Disgruntled applicants are not going to change the industry from the outside. Like stated, you have no negotiating power in this situation.

    However once you do get inside, that's your chance to be an advocate for change.
  • Maned_Wolf
    @Eric Chadwick Yup. That is why I'm only complaining about it on here.

    Still, how it gets to that point is curious to me. Is it shitty company policy? Bad work ethics/habits? Maybe I'll never know... 
  • Eric Chadwick
    We've talked about this before. It's a bunch of things.
    • Hiring decisions are done by art leadership, the art hiring manager or art director, who is busy doing many other things and wants to lose the least amount of their time as possible to fill that vacancy.
    • HR doesn't have much time either. They have quotas, or other tasks they'd rather be doing.
    • Human Resources person in charge of finding candidates is mostly in charge of putting out job ads, filtering resumes, doing phone screenings, administering the art test (created by the art hiring manager), setting up interviews, etc. They can't provide relevant feedback to candidates, only the art hiring managers can.
    • There are legal rules around hiring (agism, sexism, racism. etc.) that cause people to avoid communicating more than they absolutely must with the candidates, for fear of being dragged into a legal mess, and this instills caution.
    • Some people have tried giving feedback to failed candidates, and gotten burned by the experience. The candidate tries to defend themselves, or tries to keep the convo going asking for more detailed critiques, suggestions about how they interviewed, are there more roles opening in the near term, etc. 
    There's a bunch more. But it would help to understand they're just people, like you. They have other things that need more attention.

    How much time do you personally spend thinking about the telemarketer who calls asking for a donation to cause X or campaign Y? Probably not much, sure they're people too, but it's someone who wants something from you. 

    Candidates are in a similar position of little power. This is unfortunate, but it's the way things are, so it's best to roll with the punches, and keep moving forward.

    The job will come if you're persistent and diligent. Stick with it.
  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR interpolator

    How much time do you personally spend thinking about the telemarketer who calls asking for a donation to cause X or campaign Y? Probably not much, sure they're people too, but it's someone who wants something from you. 

    Candidates are in a similar position of little power. This is unfortunate, but it's the way things are, so it's best to roll with the punches, and keep moving forward.

    The job will come if you're persistent and diligent. Stick with it.
    I think the main difference here is that the telemarketer is making an unsolicited call, while for OP, its feedback for a solicited art test that has been submitted to the directions of the studio that administered it.

    Not to say the company is obligated to reply and give feedback, but this whole scenario is because of the company valuing its time more than the people it wants to hire with the added aspect of mismanagement. 

    I agree it is important to keep going forward and not let this hold you back.

    Part of me feels that given that several of these studios operate on government grants and tax credits they should be accountable in the same manner a publicly funded government department is, but this is not too different from bailing out banking firms during the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Rereading this comes off as pretty harsh, and I'm not trying to single you out, or discount the feelings you have. They're legitimate feelings.
     
    If you want to be seen as, and treated like, another professional, someone who "gets it", then treat always your potential employers with respect. They have all the power in this situation, you have none.

    I tell you this as someone with 20+ years experience working in the game industry as an artist.

    Potential employers don't value your time, unless you demonstrate you're a professional. Let them know through your actions that you're a busy professional, and that you realize they are very busy as well.

    Give them what they're asking for (art test, etc.), asking only as much as you need to know to complete the task.

    Or politely decline the test, saying you're too busy with other work to spend time on it. I did this with my current employer, and it worked out fine. It was a risk I was willing to take. I was in fact very busy as a freelancer at the time, and clarified with my potential new employer that I would be able to wrap up the freelancing within a couple weeks if hired, which was true, and I did.

    You can ask when the decision might be posted, but don't worry or get upset when it doesn't appear. Just move on. 

    Send a single reminder email to your main contact, after a decent amount of time (one or two weeks) saying you enjoyed working on the test and are available if they have any questions. Don't make anything more demanding than that. Keep it calm and professional.

    If you hear nothing back, there are a couple reasons: they don't like what they saw (you're in the discard pile, move on). Or they haven't gotten around to reviewing all the tests yet (put it out of your mind and move on to the next employer). Or the position has been filled (do the same). Or the position has been removed because priorities changed (again, do the same, move on).
  • Maned_Wolf
    We've talked about this before. It's a bunch of things.
    • Hiring decisions are done by art leadership, the art hiring manager or art director, who is busy doing many other things and wants to lose the least amount of their time as possible to fill that vacancy.
    • HR doesn't have much time either. They have quotas, or other tasks they'd rather be doing.
    • Human Resources person in charge of finding candidates is mostly in charge of putting out job ads, filtering resumes, doing phone screenings, administering the art test (created by the art hiring manager), setting up interviews, etc. They can't provide relevant feedback to candidates, only the art hiring managers can.
    • There are legal rules around hiring (agism, sexism, racism. etc.) that cause people to avoid communicating more than they absolutely must with the candidates, for fear of being dragged into a legal mess, and this instills caution.
    • Some people have tried giving feedback to failed candidates, and gotten burned by the experience. The candidate tries to defend themselves, or tries to keep the convo going asking for more detailed critiques, suggestions about how they interviewed, are there more roles opening in the near term, etc. 
    There's a bunch more. But it would help to understand they're just people, like you. They have other things that need more attention.

    I thank you for your answers, truly. To be clear though my gripe is about the complete non-communication rather than specific feedback. I think it's the bare minimum to let a candidate know about the status of their application or at least acknowledge the work that's been sent to them at their behest. Do any of these points really appropriate the disregard of common courtesy and ethics? You can respond to someone even when you don't have the answers. A "Thank you for completing our art test, we will be in touch once we have received feedback" response or any such variation is a million times better than not responding at all. At least it lets me know that my test has been received and is due for review. With that I don't have to be left with feeling disgruntled by having been given the cold shoulder and having to second-guess the state of my application. 

  • Eric Chadwick
    I agree.

    In my experience there tends to a lower standard in the games industry around management issues, all across the board. From hiring/firing, to project management, team management, etc. 

    It's been rare for me to get consistent notifications from game developers.

    But that's OK, just part of the industry, either you put up with that and everything else wrong with it, or you just get out and work elsewhere. Plenty of CG jobs outside of game dev, if you really look.
  • Maned_Wolf
    In my limited experience so far it seems to be a thing with animation departments as well, unfortunately. 
  • Darth Tomi
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    Darth Tomi polycounter lvl 12
    It's like that everywhere and not just game development. Had an interview for a non games job. Got ghosted, never even heard back. 

    I've also seen a lot of nepotism, age discrimination (which is real) and buddy hires.
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