When I speak with job seekers, my goal is to determine the right job fit and to make sure any opportunity we discuss will make sense to both my candidate and my client. From the first greeting I do my best to establish open communication about any and all matters related to their job search, their overall situation, personal preferences and most importantly, I promise to keep them informed throughout the process and ask my candidates to do the same with me. I assure each candidate that I understand they’re on the job hunt and will continue searching, going on interviews and entertaining job offers while I’m in the process of submitting their resume to our clients. All I ask is that they keep me informed if anything should change on their end, and I promise to do the same for them.
For the most part, this goes without a hitch. Candidates are usually responsive, available to take or return my calls and messages and they know they are free to contact me anytime with questions, concerns or to inform me if their situation has changed. Even when I must inform the candidate that my client isn’t interested in considering them, we agree to stay in communication and keep trying until we find the right fit or until they find another offer.
But some candidates are different. After the initial call or two, crickets... no answer, no return call or text. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I ask myself why I thought we had a great rapport. I’ve kept my end of the commitment, but for some reason, without any warning, some candidates go MIA. I feel totally blindsided. What happened?
My best guess is that something has changed but they don’t know how to tell me so it’s easier to just avoid further contact. Of course, I do take into consideration that they may have been hit by a meteor (ouch, that’s gotta hurt), kidnapped by aliens (the ones that specifically target job seekers) or they woke up no longer speaking/comprehending the English language (it’s a phenomenon). But other than one of those scenarios, or something equally as strange, I cannot understand why some candidates decide to cut off all communication without any explanation. Maybe they don't realize that we are on their side! We can help them fight off aliens, and we can even provide a dictionary to help recapture the English language!
An MIA Story
Just last week I spoke with a candidate who was so professional and courteous on the phone. We had an excellent conversation, we both agreed that the job he applied for would be a great fit and he was excited about the possibility of an interview to wow them enough to land an offer. We agreed to stay in communication and he told me it was so refreshing to speak with a recruiter who promises to keep him informed throughout the process. He complained that most recruiters he has worked with don’t give him any feedback and he feels left in the dark. Well, long story short, after several emails and text messages from me to him over the following two days he went missing in action, or MIA. The only response I received was a brief one-liner saying he was no longer interested. No explanation, no phone call, just a quick sentence. The bad part is that after submitting him to our client, we had to tell them he is backing out and we don’t know why. It’s even more unfortunate because they were interested in his experience and were getting ready to request an interview.
The Constant Question
As recruiters, we depend on open communication to get our job done and to get you a job while also maintaining a good reputation with our clients. So how do we prevent this situation from happening? And if it does happen, is there anything we can do to re-establish our dialog, even if it’s only for an applicant to tell us that they no longer need our help? Recruiters are trained to take rejection and to take no for an answer, in fact, we welcome it because it tells us where we stand and we can all move on. But when our candidates go MIA, it makes us wonder what we could have done better and if there is anything we can do differently going forward. If you have ideas on how we can encourage more communication, drop your ideas in the comments below!
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