I messed up. I'm a douche bag. I'm an asshole. I'm a recruiter.
***Before going any further, I should mention that you MIGHT want to be familiar with Kanye Wests' "Runaway" to understand the pop culture reference. Click here to listen to the song, but honestly, it's not all that important.
In "Runaway", Kanye basically sends out a public apology to women he's dated, Taylor Swift, the world, and even himself. In the song, Kanye acknowledges that he's not the greatest guy the world has seen, and that it does make him unhappy. While he admits his character flaws, he realizes that working on them may or may not change anything.
In recruiting (as well as other professions and areas of life), things will slip through the cracks every so often. Unfortunately, when it does happen, it's most likely related to not getting back to a candidate quick enough, or just not getting back to them at all. It happens often, in fact it's the number one complaint from job seekers regarding interview processes.
My Douche Bag Moment
A few weeks ago, I interviewed a high-level candidate for a critical position at the company I work for. On October 12, the candidate sent an email asking for an update, and then he sent another on October 15 repeating his question. Somehow, I failed to act on both and completely forgot about it. On October 24, the candidate let me know of his displeasure by sending me the following email:
I can't tell you how disappointed I am that you have not shown me the courtesy of responding to either of my past 2 email messages. I will be sure to mention your lack of responsiveness to my friend who is close with both the CEO and CFO of COMPANY X.
I immediately felt a little shitty when reading the email, but not because this candidate used a threatening tone, or because I feared losing my current contract. What got to me was the realization that no matter what I do, this IS GOING to happen again and again. No matter how hard I work at it, situations like this will repeat themselves, and candidates will ALWAYS complain about not hearing back.
I'm not asking you to "runaway". I'm not even really calling recruiters "assholes" or "douche bags". What I'm trying to say is that I'm sorry.
Maybe I'm speaking for all recruiters here, or maybe I'm just speaking for me, but while I'd love to get back to every candidate, it's just not going to happen. People out there will claim there is no excuse for not getting back to a candidate. I'm not arguing with them, but when you walk through a shit storm you're bound to get crapped on.
I haven't heard back after two emails, what do I do?
Don't send an angry email or voicemail. I'm not holding it against this particular candidate, but many recruiters/hiring managers would see it as lack of patience on the candidate's part. My honest opinion is to wait another full week or two, then send one more email or phone call. After that, it's time to forget about the job, and realize that they either don't have information yet, have gone with someone else, or have forgot about you.
Don't take it personal. Just move on. Just "Runaway".
The minute you represent that candidate you serve that candidate to the end of that process. Unless of course you are playing darts ...
You can't possibly tell me, you've never had this happen, because I won't believe it
Phone screens are not submissions - but you work as a Corporate Recruiter and you have to respect the candidate... You represent the Company ... Its tough ... But that is your job as a corp recruiter... Perhaps you need to preface your phone screens that we will contact the folks we will move forward with ...
Its an image thing and folks talk ...
I agree with you on the image. It's not something I'm proud of, but something like this happens all the time, to many candidates. It's basically the number one complaint folks have about the job search process. It happens more than any of us want to admit, and it's not our goal or objective, but we do let some candidates slip through the cracks, and recruiters are full of the worst smelling shit if they won't admit that.
I never interviewed the candidate. I conducted a phone screen. When I received the third email, I let my supervisor know of the situation, and it was handled from that point on. It hasn't been the first time something like this has happened, and it won't be the last. I'm not proud of it, and I'll work on it, but it's going to happen again.
We can talk about image and brand all we want, and that part I am 100% on board with. But, things like this will continue to happen. All we can do is work hard on making sure it doesn't happen, and when it does, reach out and apologize. Many recruiters simply won't reach out after a few weeks has gone by. They have new openings they are working on, with important initiatives. If a recruiter can take a few minutes and call the folks they haven't got back to, then it goes a long way.
I just know that I'm not the only one who's been in this situation. I refuse to believe it.
The candidate has been reached out to, and all is well on our end.
PS: I'm no Kanye West fan by a long shot, so I didn't get the reference initially, but there was no way I was going to NOT click on this post after seeing the title. LOL! At first I thought it was another person slamming TPRs. Thanks for the break. Chris
So which is it? Was it a phone screen or a high level interview and I quote "I interviewed a high-level candidate for a critical position at the company " ? ....
You blog is not consistent with your feedback as to why you did not get back to the candidate ... Just thought I would point that out ...
To correct it, "I phone screened a high-level canddiate for a critical position at the company". A phone screen is still an interview in my books, but for this role I was just gathering the basic data from the phone screen.
I apologize for that, but no matter what step of the process, recruiters still let candidates slip through. That, I won't budge on.