Never Be Forgotten
This article was inspired by a blog I recently read, where a candidate who was applying for a position never received feedback from the Recruiter.
Within the comments section I noticed many others sharing their same negative experience - of recruiters not giving feedback.
No one however, was sharing ways to improve their chances to be communicated with and how not to be forgotten.
So I decided I'd share some helpful insights into an industry which I have been involved with for over 15 years.
To start off, let me first clarify; there are two types of Recruiters.
- A Recruiter within an organisation - more commonly known as the In-house Recruiter or Talent Acquisition Consultant (TAC) .
- A Recruiter from a Recruitment Company (eg. Alpha Recruitment) - is an Agency Recruiter or Recruitment Consultant (Recruiter).
These two roles and responsibilities are very different, and I believe, are being misunderstood by the market.
- Talent Acquisition Consultant
To share more about this, a Talent Acquisition Consultant (TAC) puts up adverts on their company site, links these adverts to their Seek, LinkedIn etc. portals.
The respondents applying for these roles, are going into a large pool of applicants, which is being filtered by some "AI".
Large organisations are even automating filtering through to 3 levels of engagements until you actually get to the TAC.
There is continuous investment in this automation and screening process, which is where your CV will sit and sometimes disappear.
- Recruitment Consultant
With Recruitment companies, they too have some automated screening process, but generally don’t have the same investment in specialised software.
Most are utilising LinkedIn as one of their core searching tools.
That being said, a big difference between a TAC and Recruiter is the time spent on searching.
Recruiters are actively searching through the various portals, head hunting and networking while TAC are screening from their pool.
Those candidates who were forgotten about, never received feedback, weren't contacted when promised, went for an interview and never got feedback and so forth - rest assured even I have been down that road.
However, one needs to understand who you are dealing with and the different situations that their are, in order to know the best way to get the desired results. So to help with this, I've put together some tips below for both scenarios.
Some useful tips when dealing with a TAC:
- Always remember you are going through an automated screening process, so make sure your CV has the keywords mentioned in the job description.
- If the opportunity says, "Must have a degree" and you say "No", then your CV will be thrown out, if this is a mandatory (I'm sure many will agree, in most situations, this shouldn't be a requirement).
- Your CV is one of hundreds, so try to connect with the TAC or even the line manager for that organisation – LinkedIn has always been a great tool for this.
- Make sure your social media is "clean" and is not contradictory to your CV and Cover letter.
- I have come across many candidates whose CV says one thing and their LinkedIn profile says another, this causes doubt.
- If you're lucky enough to get through to the right person and have made contact, keep in touch. Not every day, this irritates the receiving end more than it builds rapport.
I would say every 5-8 working days, but each person is different, you can always ask. Don’t fall for the "Don’t contact me, I’ll contact you". Guaranteed – your name is forgotten about by the end of that day.
Some useful tips when dealing with a Recruiter:
- Almost every Recruiter shares their work email, LinkedIn details for potential candidates to respond to their adverts. Avoid just going through their portal and reach out via email, yes email first, regarding your interest.
If you have not heard back from your email – then after 2 days follow up with a call (this depends on the closing date of advert or contract start date – which could require a follow up call sooner.)
- Try not to sell yourself over the phone, the Recruiter is juggling multiple applications and roles while you are on the phone with them. Set up a next action, and that is what your call is about.
- If you're reaching out to a Recruiter to start a relationship so they keep you in mind for future opportunities – then it is your responsibility to continue to keep in touch, don't expect them to.
An email every 2 weeks is generally a fair time, be quick and to the point (Hi Chris, Mark here, hope you're well. Letting you know I am still on the market for a Project Manager contract in Auckland etc.).
- Not all Recruiters will respond, some will and some won’t – that is not the Recruitment Industry, that is all industries and human error.
I personally make it a priority to just reply with a short comment so you know I have received your communication, but I have missed a communication in the past.
- When applying for a role, don’t be difficult, be sure to ask to come in for an interview as many candidates want to be put forward for a role, but don’t have the time to meet with the Recruiter.
It sometimes feels like a battle to get a candidate into an interview. Most service agreements will say, the applicant must be interviewed, either face to face or via Skype.
Face to face builds the strongest rapport and Skype second.
- Don’t lie or feel you need to bend the truth on your skills, experience, who you've been interviewed by already, where you are in the process and have realistic aspirations.
I remember one candidate who was applying for my 5 years’ experience Chartered Accountant role, had no formal qualification and 1 year bookkeeping experience.
- If a Recruiter shares with you the company name, DON’T try to reach out to the client directly or apply on the company portal for the role the Recruiter is putting you forward for.
The first thing that happens, is a conflict occurs and the Recruiter already has a relationship with the TAC or Line manager, your name will be slammed and your ethics will be questioned.
I have never had a candidate who went behind my back ever make first round interviews, because what company wants to hire someone who starts off the initial relationship unethically.
- Another DON’T is, if you have been approached by two agencies for the same role and client, then please don’t lead and waste the time of the Recruiter. Be honest and say my CV has been sent already for that role and to that company.
- For those who are successfully put into a role, don’t forget your Recruiter, become an ambassador for them. You have not paid for their service and they have found you a career. So pay it back by being an ambassador for them and help them to find more opportunities.
Other generic responsibilities of candidates:
- Ensure you personalise your CV for each and every role, you always have a core standard CV but this might not reflect certain projects which the role is highlighting.
- Don’t waste time, some candidates are actually not candidates, they are investigating the market to see what is out there. If this is your reason, state it, remember there are people who are actively looking and should be the priority of the Recruiters and TAC.
- Always remember you have 1-5 names to remember, while a Recruiter and TAC have hundreds of names. Don’t feel offended if they forget yours. Keep building rapport to stay at the forefront of their mind.
If you ever need further advice or clarity on tips, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article from our Senior IT Consultant - Christopher Kourie