Ever since I started in recruitment 3 years ago candidates have been notifying me of the same thing. Last week I was part of the Bulgarian Headhunters delegation at the “Career in Bulgaria? Why not.” fair and it was mentioned again.
“Why don’t I receive feedback from a recruiter?” That’s the question candidates ask me over and over again. Personally I’ve made it a rule to come back to every candidate in a personal way, but I’ve noticed this is more of an exception than you’d like to think. In this post I will try to provide some insight in an industry that’s not always as transparent as it should be.
One of my favourite quotes in this line of work comes from Indian film writer Rutvik Oza: “We all are human resources but we are humans first and resources later.” This is something that’s often forgotten by recruiters, as they deal with hundreds of candidates on a monthly basis. Every CV, every short phone call you make represents a person with his or her own life, friends and dreams for their career. But no matter how much they’d like it, it’s simply impossible to build a personal relationship with that many people in a short amount of time. Especially since it’s the job of the recruiter to separate the chaff from the wheat they must develop a way of selecting potential talent as quickly and as adequately as possible.
Besides that recruiters walk a fine line between keeping a successful relationship with their clients as well as their candidates. This often involves a “hidden agenda”, which is not as bad as it sounds but refers to the fact that recruiters often get feedback for a batch of candidates and not one by one. Especially in mass recruitment, this is something that happens a lot. While the candidate thinks he’s still in process for one role, the recruiter may be on the lookout for another potential possibility already but can’t communicate this directly yet as it would disturb a previous recruitment process. It becomes a “sit and wait” process for candidates while the recruiter becomes too caught up in the process to actually communicate.
Now the important question is; what can we do to make this industry more transparent? I think it’s up to both parties to ensure this.
Recruiters can try to keep closer contact or more personal contact with candidates, both those who are in process and those that are rejected for a role. One of the very simple ways I do this is by writing a personal e-mail to every candidate that is rejected for a position. Sure, the e-mail isn’t entirely personal as it’s basically a template, but it’s written in a way that acknowledges every single candidate by addressing them by name and providing tips on where to find further job profiles that can match their profile. It may not seem like much but it’s still better than the awkward silence that often follows after you’ve applied.
Candidates on the other hand can try to take control of their application process by staying on top of the communication. Far too often when I ask a candidate about their general application process I get the answer “I pretty much send my CV and that’s it.” What I recommend is the following; it’s your application so you’re the one in control. Start with a phone call inquiring about the profile and introducing yourself. That way you’ve already made a personal impression and on top of that you know who’s responsible for this specific role. Follow your call up by sending your CV and refer in this e-mail to the conversation you just had with the recruiter. Don’t be afraid to ask the responsible recruiter some questions about the communication; “when can I expect an answer?” “Can I call you to ask questions or check on the status of my application?” If you didn’t get an answer after the agreed amount of time, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and inform about it.
Yes, you may come across as a bit pushy but I guarantee you; you’ll stay on top of their mind and gain more insight in an industry that’s not nearly as straightforward as it should be.
Written by Tobias Aniceta.