Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

You Never Call, You Never Write...Why You May Not Be Hearing Back

2010-05-14 11:33:01

There is a lot of discussion on one of my listservs about contacting recruiters after a phone screen, or even interviews. Candidates don't want to jeopardize their chances for a particular job by "bothering" a recruiter too much. (Which I, personally, thank my own candidates for!) When is it OK to call/email? How often? What is too "much"?

I love forging relationships with my candidates. It's usually the best part of my job. I'm a big candidate advocate. But what candidates need to remember is that my *primary* client in the recruiting relationship is the hiring manager. That could be someone in my company, it could be a manager at a client. My paycheck depends on keeping *them* happy. Just as most employees seem to misunderstand the role of the HR Generalist, which is to make sure the *company* is safe legally (and representing the best interests of the company, not the employee), candidates need to understand my priorities as a recruiter.

When you, as a candidate, don't hear from me for a long time, don't assume that I am ignoring you. I have done as much as I can to get you noticed. Please be aware that often it is the *hiring manager* that is the bottleneck. It isn't unusual for Hiring Managers to take weeks to get back to a recruiter (either internal or agency/external) on the outcome of a resume or even interviews.

There can be any number of reasons for this; keep in mind that the reason a position is *open* is because they are understaffed, which means that everyone is picking up the extra load until it can be filled. It's a catch-22 situation. But it's hellacious sometimes to get interviews scheduled when everyone is already overextended.

Also consider that with the market as flooded as it is, managers are looking at many many MANY more resumes for each position than in pre-recession years. That means they are considering, screening, and interviewing more candidates than ever for *one* position. Recruiters narrow down the field for them by significant amounts, but where maybe before they had 3 or 4 qualified candidates, now maybe it's 8 or 10.

You are a second tier candidate. They like you, but you don't hit *all* their quals, so that means they are keeping you in reserve until their first-string choices are contacted and interviewed.

Competition in general. If you are going through an agency, depending on how many other agencies have submitted you, they have no idea what is going on if the HM doesn't communicate with them.

The position is in jeopardy of going away. It is on hold. If an agency is representing you, they probably won't even know about it until the position disappears from their recruiting dashboard.

Recruiting is very much a Project Management role, with each open position being a set deliverable. If I have twelve open requisitions to work on, and I have already submitted four qualified candidates on number 5, then my priority shifts to number 8 because the HM has pulled the trigger and asked me to start scheduling the interviews for her top four candidates. So that week, I put 5 on a back-burner to concentrate on 8. Recruiters multi-task weekly, daily and even hourly. It is rare for us to have "down time" for any significant amount. And also it might help candidates to know that Recruiters have been *hard hit* in this economy in terms of layoffs and downsizing. Most recruiters have been doing double or triple duty in their organizations after losing team members. The ramifications of this are not just more jobs to fill, but also forming new relationships with our hiring managers which takes time.

Feel free to contact us; weekly if you have heard from us and we have indicated that we are setting some sort of schedule up. We generally prefer email as it allows us time to keep focused. And, often times we are on the phone with other candidates many hours of the day, so you may get voicemail anyway.

And finally, this may seem to be humor, but I am quite serious: a call can tell you if the recruiter is even still with the company, and if not you need to get hold of the recruiter that is taking over those requisitions. S/he may have no idea who you are, so introduce yourself and send any email correspondence you have to re-establish your candidacy.



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Fake It 'Til You Make It
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