I know it feels like we’re breaking up, but can’t we still be friends?

Every time I have to deliver the “bad news” to a candidate I feel this same way. There is never joy in having to tell someone that they aren’t moving forward in the hiring process. Never.

Disappointed, angry, alarmed, sad, optimistic, puzzled… are just some of the emotional responses I’ve received.

Please rest assured that no matter what the outcome is, I do want to continue my professional relationship with you.

I sincerely want candidates to know that my intentions are always to present them to a hiring manager for consideration based on our initial interactions. I have every intention of a successful match.

BUT, there might be as many as a dozen candidates being considered for a specific role at any given time. Unfortunately only one of them can get the job.

This makes my role as recruiter very difficult. I see a potential fit in all my candidate presentations and this includes you.

Many candidates discount the role of the recruiter after they don’t get the job. Keep in mind, if the recruiter is good, this will not be the last role that they are recruiting for.

Making an excellent impression on both the hiring manager and the recruiter will help you go places. Hopefully a similar position comes up that you are suited for and will be considered in the future. Another scenario is that the recruiter moves on to a different company and thinks of you as a missed hiring opportunity! Their departure from company A, could turn into an wonderful career opportunity at company B.

Forming a professional relationship with your recruiters can be successfully done by checking in periodically via telephone, email or newsletter. This keeps you “in top of mind”. Based on your interactions with them, when your dream job comes across their desk, they will contact you!

I like the idea of connecting with your recruiters via LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. This is a great way to stay in touch long term and you will always know where to find them and what openings they might be recruiting for this way. We generally broadcast our openings on a regular basis and use all forms of social media to do so.

Please, let’s keep in touch and maintain contact with one another, even when you didn’t get the role I had your interview for. I see talent in you. Know that I believe in your exceptional skill set, abilities and experience. Unfortunately only one person can get the job and that leaves me with the role of delivering the news.

I’ve love to hear about your experiences. What is the best way for a recruiter to continue a professional relationship with you, even after you didn’t get the job?


www.heathergardner.com your comments are welcome!

Views: 57

Comment by Steve on October 29, 2008 at 4:37pm
I find myself trying to stay in touch with candidates all the time. I think part of the relationship is two-fold: While we want them to stay in touch with us and call or write, etc, oftentimes since they are so focused on finding a job right now, they don't realize how important this relationship really is. While I can't afford to take every candidate I say no to out to coffee, a friendly email from time to time, and keeping in touch with them from my end is critical. Plus, they appreciate the fact that you called to let them know in the first place that it was a no go. I usually try to give them ideas or leads with other recruiters within my network to offer some help as well. This goes a long way.
Comment by Heather Gardner on October 29, 2008 at 5:06pm
@Anna Thank you for sharing the success stories! I love to hear a good cause and affect... it's nice to see it work both ways, what that recruiter did for you, landed him his next position :-)
@Steve I think it's wonderful to hear about how other recruiters are taking the time to be "candidate centric" - great ideas for staying in touch!

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