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10 reasons why recruiters don't call back after interviewing candidates

Know how recruiters work to decode the status of your job application and what it means for your job search.

ET CONTRIBUTORS|
Jun 10, 2019, 06.30 AM IST
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Go through the fine print of the job description and look at the desirable or preferred attributes.
By Devashish Chakravarty

Did you get calls from recruitment agencies when you shared your resume on job boards and updated your LinkedIn settings?

Was there complete silence from the recruiters later on? Or maybe you had two rounds of interviews with a company and then suddenly the trail went cold? Why don’t recruiters call back, and what does it mean for your job search?

  • Did you apply?
While you may be expecting a call from the recruiter, as far as he is concerned, you may not be in the reckoning at all because you didn’t formally apply for the job.

Reaching out on a social network, expressing interest in a position or verbally asking the recruiter to consider your public profile does not count, unless you are a senior professional in your industry. If a vacancy has been advertised, you need to have a record of your application on the e-mail, along with a copy of your resume.

  • Disorganised process
While you may have followed the correct application procedure, recruitment agencies and hiring managers are often overburdened and disorganised. So, your application may simply slip through the cracks. To avoid being a victim of chance, follow up with the recruiter, hiring manager or an intermediate reference within two days to get a confirmation on your application.

  • Not qualified
When a recruiter advertises for a senior position, he typically gets tons of unqualified applicants. So, if the position called for a ‘key accounts manager’, while you are an accountant, or the position required an MBA in marketing, while you are a graduate with marketing experience, do not expect a call back from the recruiter.

  • Falling short
Go through the fine print of the job description and look at the desirable or preferred attributes. Say, you are a great software developer, but the job profile mentions preference to candidates from e-commerce product companies, you may not be the best fit. Only if the hiring manager does not have enough candidates will you be considered. If you strongly believe that you are better than your resume, write a covering e-mail and present your case when you send the CV.

  • Competition is better
There are many qualified applicants. Sometimes, the competition simply has better work experience, lower salary or better brands on their resume than you. So, you may not be short-listed beyond the resume stage. Recruiters generally don’t have the bandwidth to update each candidate and are loath to breaking the bad news to applicants.

  • Something you said
When the recruiter or the hiring manager had the first telephonic chat with you, perhaps he learnt something that made you less attractive for the role.

Maybe you stay far away from the workplace. Maybe your junior from a previous company would be your new boss. Maybe you started the conversation with unrealistic salary or benefits expectations. The hiring manager is unlikely to share his true concerns with you and you may either get silence or a standard rejection as response.

  • Researcher speak
Your first conversation was perhaps with a research associate or a junior talent acquisition executive, whose job is to map and scope out the market. When the researcher presented his findings and resumes, the recruiter may have decided not to call you. It doesn’t matter if the researcher sounded excited to you. Check out the profile of the person you spoke to in order to get a better idea about the seriousness of the first call.

  • Multiple applications
If you have applied to the same employer earlier, your interview feedback from your past applications is likely to be considered to determine whether you should be contacted for further evaluation. If you are flooding the market with multiple job applications for different roles and the recruitment consultant has come across your applications, he may decide that you are not serious about a specific role. Know that targeted applications tend to get you the best results.

  • Warm calls
If you are a great candidate but not the perfect one, then recruiters will ‘keep you warm’. This means they will call you regularly to keep the conversation and excitement going while they are on the lookout for their dream candidate. Given time and right circumstances, you may get upgraded from runners-up to winner. If not, the calls will stop suddenly. No need to rue this. A better opportunity awaits you elsewhere.

  • Priorities change
Sometimes a company’s priorities change midway through a hiring process and the existing vacancy ceases to exist, at least for the time being. The hiring manager may find it difficult to justify the company’s about-turn and the time and effort he and you have sunk into the process. So, the recruiter may simply stop calling you or give you a standard response when you try to follow up.

TAKE NOTE OF THESE...

1. Future impact
Your current interaction with the hiring manager will impact your future applications. The information that you provided on the call and the recruiter’s final impression of you is invariably documented in an applicant tracking system or in the recruiter’s own database. Be careful of facts, opinions and preferences you share.

2. No disrespect
A job seeker who calls, e-mails or abuses recruiters thrice a day for updates is being a pest. Alternatively, a candidate who has backed out of a committed interview or rescheduled too many times, adversely impacts the hiring manager’s efficiency and credibility. Recruiters have a long memory, so disrespect them at your own peril.

3. Reputation
A good recruiter will often reach out to people in the industry without your permission and seek feedback on you. Such unsolicited reference checks help the recruiter avoid risks in the hiring process. The people that the recruiter reaches out to depends on the job you have applied for. Be aware of what the market will say about you.

4. Nothing is confidential
Whatever you say can and will be used against you. The recruiter is not your physician or lawyer, so don’t assume your conversations are confidential. The hiring manager’s loyalty is towards the job vacancy that exists and the employer he serves. However, you can build trust over time if you deal repeatedly with the same recruiter in a small industry.

5. Misunderstand rejection
Many recruiters try to be gentle while speaking with job seekers. When your interviewer has rejected you, a recruiter may say that the vacancy is on hold. If you continue to follow up, you signal desperation, which does not help your case. Instead, thank the recruiter and ask him to reconnect when the vacancy gets active.

(The writer is founder and CEO at Quezx.com and Headhonchos.com.)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)
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