Stalking the Recruiter

May 26, 2010 at 8:32 am 9 comments


By Carol A. Metzner
President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com

One corporate recruiter on Linkedin had as her status update “..be careful not to stalk the corporate recruiter, but do follow-up.” Numerous discussions are taking place online scolding recruiters and employers for lack of follow-up with candidates. But, how do you as a candidate stay on the right side of the fine line that divides assertive job seeker and scary stalker?

Let’s assume you have made it through an initial screen and had a phone or in person interview. As a job seeker, how often should you phone or email in follow-up to your meeting? First, you should end your interview by asking the recruiter to explain the remainder of the hiring process.  Ask the interviewer “What happens next?” and “When should I expect to hear from you?” If they tell you what the next step is, then follow it. For example, if the recruiter tells you they have just started the process and expect to complete interviews in a couple weeks, then call them in a couple of weeks.  If they do not return your call within 24-48 hours, then send them a follow-up email. If they do not return the email within 24-48 hours, then call them again. After that, move on in your search. Does every job seeker deserve feedback and closure? Yes. Will you always receive it? No. Demanding closure by calling or emailing the recruiter every hour will not always work, nor will it help your cause- even if you are right.

These past several years have taught all of us lessons. For me, as an architecture, planning, civil engineering recruiter, I need to make sure to offer insightful feedback and closure to my candidates.  Hiring authorities and corporate recruiters who have been laid off now understand through their own job searches, that timely feedback/closure is necessary after a job interview.

Job seekers are frustrated by limited jobs, overwhelming competition and rejection. They say “Tell me I am not a fit for the job and I will understand.” Rarely has a candidate heard that they are not a fit for an opportunity without them then launching into a debate. We as recruiters, whether corporate or third party headhunter are hired to screen for the right fit. Hiring managers make that final screen and may reject you for seemingly insignificant reasons. Debating, while human nature, will not change those decisions 99% of the time.

Do your best to follow-up with the recruiter after your interviews. Even if you deserve closure and feedback on the status of your candidacy, you may not receive it. For the record, this is not right. Everyone deserves a return call.

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Entry filed under: civil engineering blog, Civil Engineering Companies, Corporate Recruiters, Headhunters, Interviewing, Recruiting. Tags: , , .

Civil Engineers Do Great Things, Whether People Realize it or Not! Civil Engineering Salary Cuts and Layoffs Continue

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. aepcentral  |  May 30, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Excellent comments..thanks everyone! Important to hear feedback from recruiters and job seekers…Carol

    Reply
  • 2. Brian Kevin Johnston  |  May 30, 2010 at 10:02 am

    “Do your best to follow-up with the recruiter after your interviews”
    I like this article… I LOVE it when candidate follow up with me… and I try really hard to acknowledge them with a follow call or email.. Its about respect, and the desire to be viewed as someone who cares… Best, Brian-

    Reply
  • 3. ilias asimakis  |  May 30, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Carol,
    Everyone agrees about the tight financial period, but it is just descent and shows respect to everyones life , a simple phone call or mail regarding his/her application . Its worthy also a short advise from a recruiter about lacks or mistakes on canditakes cv and cover letters.But all of you recruiters , you are hiding behind your job and act like gods, playing with others lifes. There are “bad” candidates because there are “bad” recruiters, and this happens because there is no descenty anymore.

    Reply
  • 4. Juli Smith  |  May 27, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Carol,
    This is such a good article and there have been some excellent points made in the thread. Candidates: you don’t need to call every day and doing so makes you look desperate and needy.

    Recruiters- both inhouse and outhouse (as in external or third-party) have some compassion! We aren’t social workers but when was the last time YOU sat by your phone praying the next call was a job offer? If you haven’t, then maybe you should put yourself in the shoes of those who have because it is not fun. A simple call or email once a week “Hey just wanted to let you know I don’t know anything yet but will keep trying to move the process forward and will give you a call when I hear either way.”

    Employers: Realize that while you are taking 2 and 3 weeks to make a decision to move forward to another interview or an offer, the candidate is mentally preparing for rejection and every day that goes by that you do not communicate anything, the candidate is mentally telling themselves the following,”I didn’t really want to make a change anyway…the benefits aren’t as good as where I am now even though I don’t like my boss…it’s a little farther to drive so maybe it’s not so bad where I am right now…etc, etc…” When you do finally decide to move forward after 3- 4 weeks with no communication, the candidate has already lost that white heat desire and has mentally turned you down before you get the chance to even make an offer.

    The moral of the story is be compassionate and be professional. Send an email or leave a message- don’t leave people hanging. No is the second best answer you can give someone.

    Reply
  • 5. Herbert Martinez  |  May 26, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Carol,

    Under the current economic climate, few jobs. Not having a feedback, its really frustrating. I rather prefer having a feedback thou; whether its good or bad.

    Wouldn’t be better to honest with a jobseeker? or at least let them know how the selection process work? Just think about it.

    Reply
  • 6. Rick Farquar  |  May 26, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    The role of the recruiter needs to be defined. There are headhunters who are tpically self employed and they are paid a fee for bringing a candidate of exceptional value to a company. Some will work on a particular job opening and others will recruit and then market that candidate to potential or exisiting clients.
    You can’t make a placement without a candidate but the client is the one who hires me and pays my fee.
    The market has been down for two years and is just starting up again. The companies have thousands of potential candidates, so they have the best to pick from and they are in no hurry.
    If you are a recruiter who has seen better times or a professional out of work, you want answers yesterday.
    That is not about to happen. Human resources will work to move the process along but we all know it is the decision maker who makes the hire. They could do a better job in communicating with their team but they at times don’t know the answer..
    Don’t sweat the recruiter. They have a duty to the one who pays them. When they say you were not selected, move on. No one seeks rejection but in this market the choices are many for the client.
    Clients keep in mind that most of you will one day find yourself out of work. Put yourself in another’s shoes. It will make you a better consultant.
    Be focused, stay professional and be responsive.

    Reply
  • 7. HR Pal  |  May 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    If I only had a $1 for every time a friend or family member asked me (or whined to me) about the follow up… I could have made up for my paycut! And sadly, my response is similar…everyone does deserve closure, even if it takes a long time to get the “no thank you” call/letter/ email out. As a downsizing survivor and a one person shop now, I still give out the “closure” it’s just not as fast as if I had a staff

    Reply
  • 8. Kerry Harding  |  May 26, 2010 at 11:38 am

    While I agree that the dialogue between recruiter and candidate should be a two way street, there are a number of issues that complicate and thwart that intent.

    1) I received an emailed resume for an advertised position this week. Along with my name at the beginning of the email were 72 other recruiters to whom the candidate had also sent her resume. Not only was her generic cover letter not even remotely responsive to MY job but her resume lacked even the basic minimum requirements to apply as stated in the ad itself. When I emailed her back to inquire as to why she would apply for a position for which she wasn’t qualified, I received this terse reply: “I don’t have time to read every job ad I apply for. If you don’t want to interview me, fine.” I was furious.

    2) I received another response for the same position. The cover letter was well-thought out AND well written, with bulleted points that directly responded to my specific ad. Without having yet even looked at the candidate’s resume, I was already convinced that here was a candidate about whom I wanted to learn more. He ended up being one of the ten selected for interview. Though it was clear that he wasn’t the MOST qualified candidate for the job, he made a huge deposit in the bank of good will. I was impressed.

    3) I received a resume from a candidate who was ideally qualified. I told her what our interview process would be, the corresponding timeline, and said that I would call her as soon as I had something to tell her. During the two weeks my client was reviewing resumes, this candidate called me every day, without exception, to see if I knew anything yet. On one day, she called me twice. Finally, in frustration, I said, “Listen, why do you keep calling me? I TOLD you that, just as soon as I knew something, I would call you.” She responded, “Well, every recruiter SAYS that, but no one ever DOES.” I was embarrassed.

    With the current economic climate, there are many desperate people out there who need jobs. I have a responsibility to my client to provide them with the best candidate when it comes to value – a combination of compensation, skills and chemistry. I have a responsibility to each of my candidate(s) to be truthful, responsive and fair — regardless of whether their actions or attitudes makes me want to or not. And, as the Scottish say, “Aye, there’s the rub.”

    Reply
  • 9. William Merunka  |  May 26, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Carol, I totally agree with you. Honesty and professionalism goes a long way, and can even help your business. Think about it. There are so many recruters and hiring managers out there not responding to job seekers and making them frustrated as a result of the lack of response. If I receive feedback, whether its good news, or bad news, I am more likely to refer friends and colleagues to speak with this recruiter about helping them find a job. Additionally, while I may just be a nobody now looking for a job, if in a few months or years down the road I need to help my company find new hires, I know which recruiters I will not be contacting to help us out. The problem that I’ve seen with recruiters, is that they are all focused about right now and meeting their current needs, as opposed to also focusing on building positive relationships that could help them with their future needs.

    Reply

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