The real reason why recruiters don’t ever call back

You thought you rocked the interview. The recruiter whom you’ve been in touch with for the past 6 weeks even confirmed that everyone ‘liked’ you and think that you’re a great fit for the profile!

That was 3 weeks back and you haven’t heard anything yet. You’ve sent the recruiter an email and called her a couple of times but haven’t heard back. And the worst part is this, you know exactly what’s going on. Nobody will be calling you back. You’ve got to move on.

If you’re a recruiter, you now have another case study that you can discuss and talk about during your next interview. If you’re not, well, you’ve got to get over it soon. It’s your career at stake.

And while you’re at it, let me tell you why they won’t ever call back — they hate confrontation. Almost every normal person. Just that the work they’re doing requires them to get good at confronting people in the best possible way. You see, the recruiters are almost always in a tight spot. They have to keep both you (the candidates) and their clients (hiring managers, stakeholders) in mind. Taking sides is something they can’t afford to do, albeit the best recruiters would even bleed for you if they think you’re the best person to be had in the time they’re recruiting for.

But there’s only so much they can do if the hiring managers don’t get it or the company has initiated a hiring freeze across the board. It’s hard to go back to the candidates, with whom they’ve spent so much time with over the course of weeks, months and sometimes even years, and tell them it’s all over. Let me tell you, this balancing act takes a toll on them, which makes recruitment and talent acquisition one of the hardest professions on the planet. It’s both emotionally and physically draining.

That said, here’s what I think recruitment and talent acquisition professionals should get better at:

  1. Face their fears and confront reality. No doing so will do them and the organisations they’re representing more harm them good. How? The company brand. Nobody would remember the recruiter who failed to call back and share the bad/good (well, it’s almost always bad when they don’t call back) news. But they sure will remember the company they’d applied a position at and never got a response.
  2. No matter what call them and share the news. It’s a hard conversation but your heart’s in the right place and intention is clear. The candidates will feel bad but this is where you relationship-building skills and emotional intelligence comes handy. Make them comfortable, reassure them it’s not the end of the world and genuinely ask them how else can you be a resource to them.
  3. Schedule a follow-up call with them in the next 90 days. It goes a long way in continuing to maintain and build a relationship. If they’re placed somewhere, great! Congratulate them. If not, ask them if you can be of any help them. If possible, ask them if they will be okay if you refer them to your extended network. (If should be.) Make introductions, get the ball rolling, and ensure that this person gets enough help that he can’t but succeed. It’s generous and the right thing to do. And guess, what? Not only does your employer brand goes up in value greatly, so does your personal brand and credibility. Who do you think this person is going to refer his friends to? You!

I know this sounds too ideal. But all great theories sound like that too until they get implemented and are hailed as great ideas. The only reason why this ‘sounds’ ideal is because you haven’t tried it or have and are convinced this is hard work. Listen, if you’re a recruiter who wants to just work between 9am and 5m, good luck to you! I don’t see such person growing in this profession.

Besides business acumen your emotional intelligence and willingness to develop people around you matters a lot if you wish to grow in this industry. You efforts directly impact the company’s bottomline. Keep that in mind, always.

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