Recruiter Poll Regarding “Active” Applicant Interactions

If an interested and qualified applicant contacted you directly (or was referred to you by a mutual professional connection) for one of your open/posted requisitions would you:

A) Call him/her ASAP to discuss

B) Email him/her ASAP to schedule a phone call when convenient

C) Look him/her up online to check out background and not do A or B if not a clear match

D) Look him/her up online to check out background and do either A or B as a courtesy whether or not an obvious match

E) Do either A or B and also invite him/her to join your network for future reference regardless of C or D

F) Ignore the direct contact or referral entirely 

Please explain your rationale for which ever choice(s) you made. Or, if none of the above, share how you would handle this type of interaction.

Regardless of YOUR selection(s) which response do you think is most common for your recruiting industry peers? Do you think internal/corporate recruiters respond differently than external third party recruiters? If so, how/why? 

Views: 638

Comment by Tim Spagnola on January 23, 2014 at 9:53am
Great post Kelly. Since I'm a healthcare recruiter with heavy focus on physicians, I instruct my team to always go with A. Working in a small state and be a mid size healthcare agency, quick replies and steps to build a relationship have been a key to our success.

If I had to take a stab at the norm in recruiting I would go with B. I say that only because most recruiters spend much more time with email instead of using your best tool - the phone.
Comment by Matt Charney on January 23, 2014 at 10:31am

This is a really good question, and I'm curious to hear the responses. I definitely have to go with B - because referrals impacts retention and is hands down the biggest source of external hires most employers make in any given year (not to mention the cheapest), so it's always a good idea to be as high touch with these candidates, whether or not they're actually qualified (added bonus). But because I think candidates need time to research a company, do their due diligence and prepare for a phone call, it's unfair to cold call your way into a meaningful conversation, in my experience, no matter which source the candidate actually comes from.


Comment by Linda Ferrante on January 23, 2014 at 10:32am

Depends on my schedule, but I try to do A.  If I am short on time, I do B.  While I'm on the phone with them I usually check their LI page.  I don't invite to connect, I leave that up to the candidate to do.

As far as other recruiters, I honestly don't know.  I talk to people on a semi-regular basis who say they are disappointed in other recruiters, so I'm sure this is part of what they are referring to.  

Great question!

Comment by Colin J Dunn on January 23, 2014 at 10:50am
Many this question is answered differently depending on what area of the recruitment industry you're in.
Personally and as a freelance Talent Sourcer that works mainly in the agency space, I would answer with 'E'. Not only does it include responding to an applicant - which is a common courtesy - but it also allows you to increase your network of potential applicants for future roles. You can't just concentrate on the present, you also need to consider the future.
Comment by Keith D. Halperin on January 23, 2014 at 12:10pm

Excellent question, Kelly. I do something between A and B: Assuming I  have their resume, profile, etc. I send them an email ASAP with the job description and a list of the 6-7 basic questions I always ask candidates. and if I don';t actually have their resume: a request for it. I also send a link to our website and my phone number, for if they have any questions.

Comment by Amber on January 23, 2014 at 3:17pm

I would do A, B if not able to reach on phone, do D before/during A & B,  and always E. I have placed plenty of people who weren't a fit the first time. And if they're a certain type of candidate, I will talk to clients that I know will likely have an interest regardless of if they were even currently looking for someone.

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on January 24, 2014 at 12:07am

Thanks for all the comments! ~KB @TalentTalks 

Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on January 27, 2014 at 7:29pm

Follow-up question(s)...

How likely are you to request that the person apply online in lieu of any of the above? 

If that is a "required" step before you speak directly with an interested applicant, does it mean:

1) You are blowing them off (by sending them to the blackhole)?

2) You are just following your or your company's preferred standard operating procedure and see no reason to deviate? 

3) You are concerned about compliance (as in OFCCP or other regulation) and want to make sure to capture every possible applicant for record-keeping purposes? 

If you (or a fellow industry peer) respond by telling the person to apply online, do you think that it's a sure thing that they will do so? Or, might they say: "screw it, if you can't be bothered to reply based on my direct message, why would I believe you will dig me out of your ATS to talk?" 

And, another question... does the career level of the person/position matter in all of this? 

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on January 27, 2014 at 7:58pm

I don't require them to apply online.



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