All you have to do is have a look at Hello Peter to see how extremely angry candidates get when Recruiters don’t go back to them. I understand their frustration as they took time out of their busy day to apply for the job, spent money to go for that interview, only to be abandoned and left hanging without any feedback on the final outcome of the recruitment process. I agree it is rude and unprofessional!
In my defence I have always tried to go back to candidates and I even received thank you letters where candidates have thanked me for taking the time to regret them, as a lot of Recruiters just don’t do it. However as much as I have tried to go back to every one there have been a number of situations where I was unfortunately unable to correspond with them.
Spending time holding your hand or finding you a job?
One Monday afternoon I received 10 new IT job specs. I quickly qualified the jobs and placed the adverts on a number of different websites, so that I could start the recruitment ball rolling while I attended a conference on the Tuesday. On Wednesday morning I broke out into a cold sweat and had heart palpitations as my computer slowly download over 700 job applications!
The reality of the situation is that I could have spent all my time contacting all 700 candidates and held their hands during the recruitment process (which quite frankly is an impossible task) but I chose to only deal with the candidates who met the minimum requirements and place 7 out of the 10 jobs. Which then left me time to go out to find more jobs where I placed another 2 candidates out of that specific advert response. I am sure if you are honest with yourself you would rather me spend my time trying to find you a job versus contacting you to tell to hang tight or to tell you that you were not suitable???
Sorry but it was out of my control!
I remember sitting in a police station thinking, how ironic it was that one of the reasons why we have such a high crime rate in South Africa, is because we have such a high unemployment rate. But due to a break in there would now be a number of candidates who would miss out on job opportunities. Yes someone broken in and stole my computer and candidate database! Granted in the end I only lost two weeks’ worth of un-backed up work and some of the candidates did come back to me, but I do know that I lost 100’s of job applications and that once again I had disappointed candidates who had pinned their hopes on me finding them a job.
Just hang in there!
Recruitment takes time! Yes I know that we live in an instant society, where you can What’sApp your friend in London and get an answer right away, but unfortunately recruitment does not work like that! The larger the organisation the longer it takes to make a decision. Granted I have had some jobs that were filled very quickly however most times this is not the case. The owner of a recruitment agency once told me that his longest recruitment process was eight months from client interview to offer.
My longest wait was four months and like a good recruiter, I kept phoning my Candidate to keep him updated, that he eventually shouted at me that “Clearly I did not know how to do my job, because after 3 months, if they were interested in him they would have made him an offer!” He also made it perfectly clear that I was also to stop bugging him about this as I was waiting his time! You can imagine his surprise and the apology when I sent him the offer of employment in the fourth month. So yes there are times when a Recruiter has not come back to you because they just don’t have an answer yet. Not because they did not like you or because they want to string you a long!
Sometimes the reasons have nothing to do with you!
I once took over a desk of a Recruiter who had been unceremoniously fired and escorted off the premises! By the time I had taken over and come to grips with what needed to be done, there was one position where the CV’s had not been sent and the employer had sourced a candidate from another Recruitment Agency. I had no idea who the Recruiter had spoken to or promised to assist with this position but I am confident that there were a number of candidates out there who had beaten themselves up because they were not successful. The reality of the situation is that because this Recruiter had been dismissed the candidates had no chance of ever getting the job.
Don’t take it personally!
I once worked with a Recruiter who was proud and passionate about her job and really went out of her way to assist candidates. I remember her being absolutely devastated after regretting a Candidate who did not take the bad news very well. Although she understood that he was desperate for work and was under a lot of pressure to feed his family, it was not her fault that he was unsuccessful, as she worked hard on his application and had gone out of her way for him. She felt that no matter how much it hurt to be regretted it did not give him the right to talk to her like that or call her a cockroach! I have come across a number of Recruiters who give an involuntary shiver when it comes to regretting applicants, as some candidates are over the top and rude when they don’t get the job. So maybe some Recruiters are too scared to break your heart and give you the bad news.
My advice to candidates who are looking for a job is;
Don’t expect the Recruiter to come back to you!
That way you are not disappointed when they don’t come back to you and it is an unexpected added bonus when they do. Trust me, the frustration and pain that candidates go through over this is really not worth it, rather turn that negative energy into finding a job or saving the Rhino! (Far more rewarding!)
At the end of the interview always ask the Recruiter when they think that they will have an answer for you. If they say that will they will phone you on a specific date get them to agree that you can phone them to get feedback. That way you have permission to phone them and you are not left sitting by the phone getting discouraged by every phone call that is not for you. (You will remember to phone them far quicker than they will remember to phone you!)
Always ask them how often you should keep in contact and if they would prefer email or telephonic correspondence. Each recruiter is different and you don’t want to land up stalking them into regretting your application (Stalker candidates…a whole new blog on its own!)
As much as it hurts to be regretted, be grateful that they did come back to you and chalk it up to additional interview experience! You also don’t want to burn bridges with a Recruiter because if you do Murphy’s Law says that you will be a perfect fit for the next position that they get in, and then they will definitely not phone you back!
I would like to end this by saying, I am so sorry to all the candidates that I did not go back to and I apologise profusely if I left you feeling like a teenager waiting at the phone after a hot date. I can assure you that it was unintentional and it definitely was not because I thought you are a bad evil candidate who is unemployable! But whatever you do don’t let this make you despondent, negative or turn you off working with Recruitment Agencies nor let it stop you going out there to find your next job opportunity!