If you haven’t experienced it, there’s a chance you’ve heard of what’s known as the “recruiter black hole.” You send your resume to a recruiter, have what you think is a great initial conversation, and then communication seems to slowly fade. You find yourself questioning your interview, your resume and your etiquette. And you aren’t sure when to reach out to the recruiter for an update. Should you reach out daily, weekly, never?
As a recruiting firm, we’re keenly aware of people’s experience with recruiters and how they can sometimes be a bit frustrating depending on who you’re working with. But as a company that’s been doing this for a long time, we like to think we’ve at least started to perfect the art of recruiting and know how to properly communicate with candidates.
However, when it comes to when candidates should reach out to us for an update, the protocol is much less clear. No one wants to be too aggressive and jeopardize their chances of getting that new dream job, and conversely, no one wants to fail to reach out and get lost in the resume shuffle.
So, what is the right way and the when is the right time to reach out to a recruiter? What’s the best method to do it? How often?
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU EMAIL, CALL, STALK A RECRUITER?
We spoke to one of our recruitment gurus, Jessica Wisdom, and asked her what she feels is the best policy for recruiter outreach. Here are four of her DO’s and DON’T’s when it comes to contacting a recruiter during the interview process.
1. DO send emails after an interview (though not too many)
After an initial interview, a recruiter is often at the mercy of the hiring manager. Sending a quick email once a week after the interview can help remind the recruiter to follow up with the hiring manager and put yourself back in the mind of the company. Remember—once a week. Following up more often is just unnecessary.
2. DON’T follow up before initial contact
Typically, recruiters will make a decision on a candidate within a week of receiving the resume. If you don’t hear from the recruiter within that time frame, it’s more than likely that you’re not suited for that particular position, and the recruiter has moved on. But don’t let that be a deterrent! Continue to apply for other positions you feel you’re qualified for. And if you find that you’re not hearing back as often as you like, it could be that your resume needs a little sprucing up. Here are our tips on how to do that.
3. DO ask questions
While we pride ourselves on keeping open lines of communication and transparency with our recruits, we’re (unfortunately) not mind readers. Don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter what you should expect as far as next steps and time frames. It indicates that you’re keeping up with the process and that you’re interested in the position. The recruiter’s role, after all, is to be an intermediary between the candidate and the hiring manager. Our job is to answer questions from the candidate about the company and from the company about the candidate.
4. DON’T follow up with phone calls
Recruiters field hundreds and thousands of emails and applications from eager candidates every month. Putting them on the spot with a phone call means you may not get the information you are looking for and, because of the amount of open jobs many recruiters juggle at a certain time, they may not know exactly what position you want an update on anyway. Opt for email instead. Most recruiters are very digitally organized and will be able to check on the specifics of the job and your application much more easily and quickly via email.
About the Author: Have a recruiter protocol or career-related question for Jessica? Drop her a line on Twitter at @JessicaWisdom1 and she’ll do her best to get back to you with an answer or a tip for improving how you engage with recruiters and land that dream job.