Is Your Recruiter Ignoring You? 5 Reasons She Might Be


You just know the recruiter you spoke to is going to help you land your ideal job! He already had three roles he thought you’d be perfect for! So, you wait anxiously for the next phone call. and wait. and wait. and..

After hours, days, or maybe weeks of anticipating some follow-up, you start to feel discouraged and begin to wonder: Is my recruiter MIA?

Chances are, your recruiter is not missing and she doesn’t hate you. But it is possible you’ve been pushed to the bottom of the pile simply by making some all-too-common job seeker mistakes. So, before making the assumption that your recruiter has ridden off into the sunset without you, stop to consider the dynamics of the recruiter-employer relationship and how you fit in as a candidate.

Understand the role of a recruiter
In general, recruiters have one primary function: to fill jobs. That sounds simple, but in reality, a recruiter’s responsibilities are far more complex. Recruiters are hired by companies to identify the best candidate for their open positions. The employer pays a fee to the recruiter to make a successful match. That means the employer is the client—not you.

This doesn’t mean the recruiter isn’t vested in your successful job search. As a quality candidate, you play a vital role in the placement process because without you, recruiters could not successfully fill their client’s job order.

However, that process has a lot of moving parts. First, recruiters invest a significant amount of time working with the client to develop an accurate full-picture job posting, ensuring they find the right talent. No one wants to be presented to a client to discuss a role that differs from the one you applied for. Next, recruiters spend time connecting with potential candidates—searching their talent pool for both active and passive professionals who possess the right combination of skills, experience and cultural fit. Then, once a group of qualified candidates is identified, they spend time collaborating with you and the employer to arrange interviews—managing both sides of the recruitment process to ensure both parties are happy with the final result.

If recruiters had a rallying cry, it would be the wise words of Jerry Maguire: “Help me, help you!”

Help you recruiter help you by avoiding these 5 things:

1. Stalking the recruiter. Recruiters know you are eager to land a job and they are just as eager to help you. Despite your enthusiasm, you must respect the process. Once a recruiter has ascertained your needs, expectations and ideal role, they get to work trying to identify an opportunity that fits. If you’re a potential fit, you’ll receive a call—promise. There is no need to email or call to check in multiple times a day or week.

2. Forgetting patience is a virtue. When a potential opportunity is identified you will work with your recruiter to determine if it’s the right fit. It’s important to be patient. Recruiters spend a lot of time going back and forth between you and the employer. Remember, they want to fill the job just as much as you want to have it. Throughout the recruitment process, your recruiter will keep you abreast of the situation. As soon as they hear word from the employer, so will you.

3. Ignoring the manners your mother taught you. If you have an active and complete LinkedIn profile, you may receive an unsolicited call or email from a recruiter. If the potential job isn’t within the compensation range you would entertain, don’t be offended and reply, “I make double that!” or “I have a job, why are you contacting me?” Simply thank the recruiter for reaching out and maybe recommend a colleague who might be a better fit. You never know when you may want to work with that recruiter in the future, so keeping your interactions respectful and professional is a good idea.

4. Confusing hiring managers with smoke and mirrors. 62% of job seekers are entertaining multiple offers. If you are participating in interviews with a different company or if you have other offers, be transparent. Don’t bail on interviews or suddenly take yourself out of the game after the process is well underway. It’s disrespectful of the employer’s time and can also have a negative effect on your personal brand.

5. Acting indifferent. If you want the job, do the work. Respond to emails and voicemails in a timely and professional manner, research both the company and the position thoroughly, engage during the interview, and send a follow up letter when it’s over. Be proactive.

Remember, a recruiter’s favorite thing to do is call a candidate with an exciting job offer. Ideally, their days could be filled with these types of calls. In the real word, recruiters have to relay disappointing news too. It’s not easy for them or you. Leverage the expertise and network of a high quality recruiter; in addition to effectively leveraging all the resources available to you as a job seeker.

And most importantly, help them help you.


About the Authors

Ken Schmitt is the President and Founder of TurningPoint Executive Search and the Sales & Marketing Leadership Alliance. Specializing in placing sales, marketing and operations professionals across the country, Ken’s 18 years of recruiting experience have equipped him with the knowledge to serve as a thought partner to his clients for all recruiting, hiring and human capital-related initiatives. Ken sits on the board of Junior Achievement, San Diego Sports Innovators (SDSI), AA-ISP Orange County (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals), San Diego HR Roundtable and is an Advisory Board Member for the American Marketing Association.

Vicky Willenberg has served as the Social Media Manager for TurningPoint since 2011. In 2014, she was elevated to Digital Marketing Manager, broadening her participation across all things digital for the firm. A former teacher with a Masters in Education, Vicky is an active and published blogger at The Pursuit of Normal and a marketing professional. She has her finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the recruiting, hiring and leadership sectors.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Ifeanyi Ezeofor

    Help you recruiter help you by avoiding these 5 things:

    This should read Help “your”

    Great posting, very insightful.

  • AK

    I am very sorry to say, some are just very unprofessional people who use the small power to boost their self-esteem

    • Ken Schmitt & Vicky Willenberg

      Unfortunately, I agree with you. Like any profession, you get the good with bad. This is why I strongly suggest people research several recruiters before they commit to one. Ask for recommendations, check them out on LinkedIn and eve Yelp. Hopefully, this will help weed-out some of the less professional ones.

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