Why Don’t I Hear Back from Recruiters?

Without a doubt, the single biggest source of frustration for my job seeking clients is the lack of communication from recruiting firms and employers.  Let’s explore some reasons why you may not be hearing back, especially when you feel you’re a solid candidate.
Recruiters, whether in-house recruiters or staffing firm folks, wish they had enough hours in the day to be able to personally respond to every candidate’s application or follow up inquiry.  They simply don’t.  That’s the short story.
Let’s dig a little deeper.  Recruiters are middle-men.  Their role is to identify candidates to interview, then pass those interviewed candidates on to a hiring official.
When you see an opening and apply for it you’re likely just one of tens, if not hundreds, of folks doing the same thing.  The applicant pool includes the over qualified, under qualified, and everything in between.
For the sake of argument let’s assume you’re a good fit for the job.  Logically, you’d expect an interview, right?  Yet think about how you conduct your own life.  Let’s say you’re looking for a service – a home remodeler, for example.
Depending on where you live you could find over 100 nearby licensed companies to do the work.  They’re all “qualified” on paper.  Are you seriously going to contact all of them, interview them, and check out all their references, etc.?  Doubtful.  Instead, you’ll ask around for referrals from friends and, based on those recommendations, you’ll likely end up choosing from a handful or fewer companies.
Just because you may be qualified on paper doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be interviewed.  That’s where networking and finding that advocate who’ll put in a word on your behalf with the employer is so crucial.  We’ll cover that in future blogs.
But what if you’ve had an interview?  And now you can’t get the recruiter to return your follow up calls or emails.  What’s the deal with that?
Most times it’s because the recruiter has no new information to tell you.  They haven’t heard back from the hiring official.
It could be that you’re not the top candidate and the recruiter is waiting to see whether the top candidate will accept the job offer.  If their offer is rejected, then you’d be next in line.  But imagine the conversation if the recruiter were to be timely and fully honest.
“Yes, they liked you.  But they like someone else more.  So if we can’t get our top choice, then we’d turn to you.”  Gee, I’d love to work there…
Sometimes the job gets put on hold.  Now that’s a time when a recruiter should demonstrate the professional courtesy to let you know.  Sadly, too often they don’t.
Just remember, it’s nothing personal.  Recruiters are flooded with applicants as they try to fill a number of openings simultaneously.  They have to prioritize their time.
Be persistent, but also be understanding.  Good luck!