Why is this corporate recruiter “just not that into me”?

perplexedLast time we spoke about some reasons why corporate recruiters don’t always seems to be on your side. We discussed how these reasons could be mistakes made on both sides.

From some feedback I got (mostly from the recruiter world), there is sometimes a misconception of impropriety by the recruiter because candidates try to “shoe horn” themselves into being the right fit for a position even though it is painfully obvious to everyone within the company they are not. This is a very valid point. Candidate applies for a position. Does not hear from anyone and starts calling incessantly to sell themselves. Now, as much as we as job seekers would like to get a personal response for every job application, there is simply too much volume.  Companies are moving away from the cost of the depressing postcard (…thanks for applying…you don’t meet the qualifications…we’ll keep your resume on file…very impressive …blah blah blah), so get used to the reality that for the vast majority of jobs you apply for, you aren’t going to get ANY response.

What you need to know is that many times there has been work done on your behalf behind the scenes although you may never hear from anyone. As recruiters, we always like to give the benefit of the doubt to the candidate and if we cannot tell clearly that this person is not right, we usually kick it up to the hiring manager to give the final decision. If they come back with the thumbs down, we consider it done and you probably won’t hear anything from us and you will need to live with that decision.

Where it falls more to the recruiter not doing their job is when they have an actual discussion with you. There is usually one of two outcomes from that discussion:

  1. I’m sorry, for these X reasons I do not believe that you are qualified for this position. Thanks for your time. And you should thank them and hang up.
  2. I think you are a potential fit for this role and I am going to review your resume with the hiring manager and see if an interview (phone or F2F) is warranted. The recruiter may say they have a couple of concerns so it won’t be a shocker if you are ultimately rejected.

If it is outcome #2, the recruiter has the absolute responsibility to get back to you about what the decision is. They should give you a general timetable and you should cut them some slack if it pushes a couple days, they don’t always have control of feedback from the HM. If it is a no, a detailed email or phone call is appropriate. If they do this then don’t push the issue or keep calling. Accept the verdict and move on.

So the takeaway from this is for the recruiter not to judge a candidate for repeated contact if they haven’t properly closed the loop on their candidacy. The whole “if you don’t hear from me, assume it’s a no” is WRONG and impolite. It  also casts your company in a bad light for future hiring.

Oh well, this was not the intended theme but I think responding to the feedback was important. So next time we will speak about dealing with the recruiter who is not on your side when you have been deep in the interview process with a company.

Bill Meirs is the Managing Principal with the Church & Palfrey Group, a search firm specializing in Technology and Sales Searches. Bill has 11+ years experience in corporate and agency environments. He frequently consults companies and individuals in the areas of talent acquisition, recruitment process improvement, recruitment advertising and branding, resume writing, and salary negotiation.

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