How Much Follow Up Should Recruiters and Applicants Do?

Being a recruiter means dealing with myriad of personalities.

Whether you have worked in the recruiting business for years or decades or you’re just getting your feet wet these days, you undoubtedly will find that some applicants are easy to work with, others on the other hand, not so easy.

With that in mind, keep in mind that most applicants truly just want to find a job and they will be respectful of the position you are in. If they treat you with respect, then it only seems fair that you do the same to them.

Tips for Keeping Your Sanity

If you’re a recruiter who is looking to find that happy medium of follow-up with your clients, keep these ideas in mind:

  • They just want to work – Especially given today’s economy, most applicants simply want to find a decent job with decent wages and healthcare benefits. Yes, they may seem a little too pushy at times, but you’ve likely been in their situation one or more times in your life. You can usually weed out the decent ones from those who push the envelope and ultimately become a nuisance. Whenever possible, put yourself in their shoes for a minute or two and realize that they’re aggressive in the job search because they need the work, not because they want to make your life miserable;
  • Set the tone early – Make it clear to each and every applicant from the start that you have a routine you follow when it comes to hiring folks. Sure, some recruiters are not good at being effective communicators with job-seeking individuals, but the bulk of them will do whatever is possible to be friendly, helpful, and find the best candidate for the job. You can make things easier for yourself and all applicants by letting them know up front the way you work and what passes as acceptable and what doesn’t when it comes to applicant behavior;
  • Phone etiquette – This probably goes without saying, but both recruiters and applicants need to have a sizable degree of phone etiquette. In the heat of the moment, some applicants (and maybe a recruiter or two) can lose it on the phone. Whether your applicants are calling from their Vonage home phone plans or accessing you from their cell phones at what seems like an every few days’ pace, be professional. Avoid the occasional urge to tell them to stop calling or always letting the call go to voice mail. Be as clear as possible that you got their message and you will let them know as soon as you hear about a possible situation that will be a good fit for them;
  • Online communications – With millions and millions of individuals forsaking the phone for online outreach these days, recruiters need to also be both active and professional with emails and social media. For the former, you may opt to have email as your primary mode of communicating with applicants, given it is easier to do at your time and convenience than always using the phone. The downside of course to this is you may be overwhelmed with email messages at some point and time. Once again, set the guidelines early in letting the applicants know that you do not want to be contacted every other day as to the status of a pending job. As for social media, never get into an online battle with a candidate on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn pages etc. Not only is it a waste of your time, but it puts you in an unenviable light on social media. Just as companies should never argue with customers on social media, keep your social pages professional too.

Being a recruiter can be one of the most satisfying jobs out there, but it also can be a challenge at times.

When both the recruiter and the applicant properly communicate, it is a win-win for both sides.

As a recruiter, what rules do you have in place for applicant follow-ups?

Photo credit: Image courtesy of pakorn at

About the Author: Tom Davis writes for a variety of websites on topics such as marketing and careers.

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