When Deven Lall-Perry was laid off from her job as a recruiter at a startup earlier this month, she was confident she would land fast.
As a recruitment professional, she knows the size of the candidate market we live in. May saw six consecutive months for more than 11 million job vacancies, and 12 consecutive months for more than 4 million people voluntarily leaving their jobs, according to labor data.
That’s not to say Lall-Perry hasn’t faced her fair share of recruiting shadows.
Shortly after losing her job, she reviewed her LinkedIn messages and reached out to at least a dozen people who had recently sent her cold messages about a job opportunity. She wasn’t always interested in the opportunity itself, but she opened herself up to everyone knowing that it was going to be a numbers game.
“I put myself in several [hiring] Knowing over half the processes I may never receive a response,” Lal Berry told CNBC Make It.
Why ghost recruits
Lal Berry says there are three main reasons you’ll never hear from a recruiter, even if they reach out to you first or if you’re a perfect fit for the job:
- The company is no longer hiring for this role. This may become more common as employers realize that they over-hired in the first half of the year, and reduced that through hiring freezes or pauses during the remainder of 2022.
- Your salary expectations are off-budget. Lal Berry likes to name her salary range up front – as an employee, she knows she can speed up the hiring process a lot. If her number is out of budget, she may not receive any response from the recruiter. This isn’t always a deal breaker – the company may return weeks or months later after knowing what other candidates in the market can expect and adjusting their own budget.
- The agency’s recruiting officer does not know the company’s hiring plans. This can happen if you work with a staffing agency that works under contract on behalf of your employer or a staffing firm, says Lal Berry. It’s really a communication breakdown: The client’s company decides to go in another direction, or their business priorities change, and they never pass on that feedback to their recruiter.
It’s frustrating that you never get a response from the recruiter days after you have contacted them or after you have submitted your application. Why not just send a compliment saying she’s not a good fit, or that the job is no longer open?
Lal Berry says there are a lot of reasons this can happen that have nothing to do with you as a candidate, but rather “issues that a recruiter might deal with within their company but not be able to broadcast to the world.”
For example, she says, “They may not have a real applicant tracking system, and therefore it is difficult for them to keep track of candidate conversations and stages.”
Why is it still beneficial to receive recruiter calls
Given the number of ways she can hide during the hiring process, Lal Berry says she’ll take nearly every introductory call, even if she’s not 100% interested in the way the recruiter presented the job.
After all, “most of the time, the recruiter isn’t the hiring manager,” she says, so they may not know all the ins and outs of what the opportunity will ultimately look like. Instead, what you want to do is have a discussion with the hiring manager, who will give you a better idea of the job, what your priorities are, and who you’ll be working with.
It also recommends that job seekers create a LinkedIn post to update their professional network about their status, and mark their profile as “Open for Business” to get more potential clients.
In the end, Lal Berry began talks with about a dozen companies, reached the final round of interviews with four companies, accepted an offer on July 15 and began her new job as a new talent acquisition and retention manager on July 20.
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