When Deven Lall-Perry was laid off from her recruiting job at a startup earlier this month, she was pretty sure she’d be landing a new gig quickly.
As a hiring pro herself, she knows how much of a candidate market we’re in. May marked six consecutive months with more than 11 million job openings, and 12 consecutive months with more than 4 million people voluntarily leaving their jobs, according to employment data.
That doesn̵[ads1]7;t mean Lall-Perry didn’t face his fair share of recruiter ghosts, though.
Shortly after losing her job, she went through her LinkedIn messages and connected with at least a dozen people who had recently messaged her about a job opportunity. She wasn’t always that interested in the opportunity itself, but opened up to each one, knowing it would be a numbers game.
“I got into several [hiring] processes that know more than half I may never hear back from, says Lall-Perry to CNBC Make It.
Why recruit ghost
Lall-Perry says there are three main reasons why you’ll never hear back from a recruiter, even if they contacted you first or you’re the perfect fit for the job:
- The company is no longer hiring for the role. This may become even more common as employers realize that they are overstaffed in the first half of the year, scaling back with hiring freezes or taking breaks throughout the rest of 2022.
- Your salary expectations are out of budget. Lall-Perry prefers to mention her salary range upfront—as a recruiter, she knows it can speed up the hiring process a lot. If her number is out of budget, she may never hear back from the recruiter. This isn’t always a deal breaker – the company can come back weeks or months later after learning what other candidates in the market expect and adjust their own budget.
- An agency recruiter is in the dark about the company’s hiring plans. This can happen if you work with an agency recruiter, who works on a contract on behalf of the hiring employer, or an intermediary company, says Lall-Perry. It’s essentially a breakdown in communication: a client company decides to go in a different direction, or their business priorities change, and they never pass that feedback on to the recruiter working for them.
It’s frustrating to never hear back from a recruiter after days of engaging with them or after submitting your application. Why not just send a courtesy message that it doesn’t fit, or that the job is no longer open?
Lall-Perry says there are many reasons this can happen that have nothing to do with you as the candidate, but rather “issues the recruiter might be dealing with in their company but can’t broadcast to the world.”
As an example, she says, “They might not have a real applicant tracking system, so it’s hard for them to keep track of candidate interviews and stages.”
Why it’s still worth taking recruiter interviews
Given the number of ways you can get ghosted during the hiring process, Lall-Perry says she’ll take almost any introductory interview she can, even if she’s not 100% interested in how the recruiter pitched the job.
After all, “most of the time the recruiter is not the hiring manager,” she says, so they may not know all the ins and outs of what the opportunity will ultimately look like. Instead, you want to make it a discussion with the hiring manager, who will give you a better idea of what the job is, what your priorities will be, and who you want to work with.
She also advises job seekers to create a LinkedIn post to update their professional network about their situation, and mark their profile as “open for work” to get more recruiter leads.
In the end, Lall-Perry initiated conversations with about 12 companies, made final interviews with four, accepted an offer on July 15 and started her new job as director of talent acquisition and retention on July 20.
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