Nothing Personal: Why recruiters don’t get back to you

If you’ve been on the job hunt in the last few years, probably more than once you’ve cleared your schedule, taken a vacation day or hunted down a last minute babysitter in order to attend an interview. Everything seems to go well, but you never hear from the recruiter again. Ever. Not only do you not get the job, you never hear anything from the company and sometimes your calls and emails are not returned at all.

I find this appalling behavior, and have written expensively on how this is unacceptable behavior. I’ve challenged recruiters to justify their behavior and finally got a response from a former large company recruiter, on the condition that he remain anonymous. His job was going well, he wrote, until there was a reduction in force, which cut HR staff and added additional responsibilities to the staffing department. He has since moved to another HR position. Here is his account:

To keep reading, click here: Nothing Personal: Why recruiters don’t get back to you

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6 thoughts on “Nothing Personal: Why recruiters don’t get back to you

  1. I didn’t reply on the article because I didn’t want to create a CBS account.

    I’ve worked in the staffing/recruitment industry for 10 years. It sucks that recruiters don’t always get back to job seekers. However I hope that some have a bit of an understanding of the industry now.

    Where I used to work we sent an auto-response to all applicants to let them know that we had received their resume and would only call if they met our needs. There is no way that the 600+ applicants that applied each week could get a call.

    I agree that it is utterly unacceptable to not get back to candidates if you have presented them for opportunities. That is bad management. You truly do not have that many candidates that you can’t send a quick e-mail to them.

    Unless you have been a recruiter, you truly have no idea how hard the job actually is. I read a lot of comments that basically said “oh, boo hoo”. I am not excusing the behaviour of a bad recruiter, nor am I welcoming any sour grapes remarks from job seekers.

    It’s a tight job market in most places. If you’re not getting any calls, it is likely because you have a bad application. Don’t blame the recruiter for that.

  2. Sounds like they need to update and improve their processes. My current company has 5000 employees all over the US. They manage to get back to interviewees in a timely manner. I had two interviews with them for two separate positions: one I didn’t get, and the one I did.

    As an applicant, I don’t expect to get a reply if they’re not interested. But no matter why it’s happening, it’s still rude to blow off someone who interviewed. It doesn’t give a good impression of the company. If they are that disorganized, I don’t want to work there anyway.

  3. Glad to hear that I am not losing my mind. After a recent in-person interview (after 2 phone interviews and a request for a detailed clarification of my experience) in which everything seemed to go just great (and believe me, I have a pretty darn good BS detector), recruiters just went dark. No response when I sent them my updated resume (which they requested), no response to a followup email. Totally puzzling as they acted like I was the second coming during the interview. Did they lose their nerve after they saw that I was 60? Did a sinkhole swallow their building? Did all their fingers break and they couldn’t call or email? Believe me, a negative review is forthcoming on Yelp and GlassDoor.

    Very very very rude. And leaves a totally bad impression of your company!!!

  4. I don’t think a job applicant in this bad economy has sympathy for a recruiter that has a job yet is being rude and non responsive to an applicant after interviewing them and presenting them to their client. Excuses don’t fly because some companies do respond to every single applicant regardless of getting the job or not. So it really makes the recruiter and organization they represent look bad because some companies do it well. That is why I don’t buy this article on excuses. Companies that do this well in my opinion are, Startbucks, IBM, and The worst I have seen is AlixPartners who was silent after 5 rounds of interviews. No reply and no response to phone calls or emails. Ditto for smaller botique consulting firm Keystone Consulting. Eventually the pendulum will swing in favor of the applicant if history is any guide. When that happens everyone should remember the organizations that treated you and your time with respect and those that did not.

  5. I’m a lone-wolf headhunter and I try very, very, very hard to always update candidates. Just sent another update and it’s past midnight. It gets tough when my brain is jam-packed with the 12 job orders I’m working on for eight different clients, and there’s 50+ candidates in play. I’ve slipped before and forgot to tell a candidate they were passed on. Totally stinks and I apologize profusely and honestly when they call. But i never ignore them. Relationships are built on trust and good communication.

  6. I have had HR contact me than when I follow up they don’t reply?? Maybe I didn’t response quick enough? I don’t know?

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