Dream Company wants me -- so why haven't I heard back from my recruiter?
April 28, 2014 3:33 PM   Subscribe

Dream company headhunted me a month ago for dream job(s). They were eager to get to know me the first week, and now, four weeks later, I haven't heard from them at all despite their professed interest in me and desire to get me in for an interview. This is weird because I am uniquely qualified for the jobs they're trying to fill and they sounded desperate. Given the communication history described behind the cut, what should my next steps be?

Week 1: Was contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn and asked to apply for two positions. Did so.

Week 2: Followed up with first recruiter via email. Immediately got a phone call from second recruiter saying that I'd been passed to her because Dream Company was interested in me for a third position that is my Dream Job. She encouraged me to apply immediately and expressed considerable interest in getting me in for an interview soon.

Week 3: Com silence. Followed up with second recruiter, got an out of office reply.

Week 4: More com silence. Followed up with second recruiter and provided updated resume and current job description. No response. Also checked in via email with first recruiter on the off chance that would jump start process. She replied immediately to answer a specific question but did not address any other concerns.

Week 5: Still more com silence. Now have updated cover letter for first two jobs, which are more design oriented than Dream Job so I've tailored cover letter for that. Not sure what to do.


Should I continue reaching out weekly? Should I call recruiter two? How should I handle the revised cover letter for the design roles when it also sort of covers Dream Job too? Is there anything I can do to stay in their minds without becoming a pest? Or have I entered the career equivalent of "They're just not that into you"?
posted by Hermione Granger to Work & Money (13 answers total)
Perhaps this is too obvious, but did second recruiter's out of office reply have a return date?
posted by telegraph at 3:36 PM on April 28

It didn't. When I emailed her during week 4, no out of office reply was sent. I think that means she's back in town.
posted by Hermione Granger at 3:41 PM on April 28

Was there a job posting on their website that you were supposed to apply for, and did you?
posted by PercussivePaul at 3:51 PM on April 28

Do you have phone numbers for these people? Call them and quit playing email pattycake.

Is the recruiter(s) an employee of the company? That you have a resume and cover letter and they had you "apply" makes me wonder what the recruiter is actually doing for their job.
posted by rhizome at 3:55 PM on April 28

Never mind. Recruiter finally got back to me and said that despite their initial interest they are moving in a different direction. Thanks anyway, all.
posted by Hermione Granger at 4:27 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]

Just to put it out there: hiring always takes forever. It's agonizing as an applicant but as someone who is now doing some hiring, I can see why. Reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, getting feedback from stakeholders, etc., - all while you're trying to do your regular job and are probably swamped because you are doing the job of the person you are trying to hire!
posted by radioamy at 4:30 PM on April 28 [2 favorites]

<Dream Company> is the worst at this. Less desirable companies try a lot harder.
posted by w0mbat at 5:15 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]

Recruiter finally got back to me and said that despite their initial interest they are moving in a different direction.

In my experience (from the inside of a common <Dream Company>), that means the role was filled with an internal candidate. Better luck next time and w0mbat is also more than correct.
posted by telegraph at 5:27 PM on April 28

Yeah, the problem is that Dream Company just hired one of my coworkers and their application process went by in a flash, so I'm just confused by the degree to which they claimed to want me vs the sudden decision to say never mind.

In the future, what are some things I can do when a hiring process slows down to stay in the recruiter's mind?
posted by Hermione Granger at 6:46 PM on April 28

In the future, what are some things I can do when a hiring process slows down to stay in the recruiter's mind?

This situation may vary, but in my current (and former) companies, there's essentially no chance that we'll forget about a candidate. We track everybody's status from sourcing through hiring, and tend to remember the strongest candidates for years afterwards, even if we either couldn't extend them an offer (sometimes two totally awesome candidates show up simultaneously, which sucks), or if they rejected our offer (after all, the best candidates have lots of options, so we can't get 100% of our favorites).

Polite recurring interest isn't offensive at all, but it won't ever change our decisions or the schedule that we're making the decision on. I mean, it makes me happy when I can give an offer to somebody who is clearly psyched to work with us, but in cases where there are multiple similar openings, the decision is made same day. In cases where there is only one opening, the decision is made on the day of the final scheduled interview (ideally same week, occasionally longer).
posted by grudgebgon at 7:12 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]

I'm just confused by the degree to which they claimed to want me vs the sudden decision to say never mind.

That's because recruiters at larger companies have quotas, and those quotas fall into two categories: number of applicants interviewed, and number of applications hired. Some less than savory recruiters will express intense enthusiasm over anyone at all, just to get them into the door and interviewed -- and when they don't make the cut, they've already served their purpose.

Not trying to sound harsh, but sometimes it happens. Doesn't mean you're not awesome, just means their enthusiasm was possibly not really about you in the first place (i.e. you might not have been a good fit even on paper, but you filled a seat and got them closer to the first quota.)
posted by davejay at 11:19 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]

Keep in touch with your ex-colleague who got hired at DreamCompany and ask them to keep an eye out for positions for you.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:25 AM on April 29

Something similar happened to me recently. I was recruited to interview at a very cool company, received several enthusiastic emails post-interview about how much they liked me and how excited they were to move forward, "when can you start," etc. This was followed by a long silence and then an excuse about how I wasn't a fit after all (only after I followed up with them). Most of my contact was with an in-house recruiter employed by the company.

I suspect that the breathless "we love you" language is a tactic to keep applicants eager, waiting, and emotionally invested while risking nothing and promising nothing on their side. The "Show High Interest Than Stall" acronym (SHITS) comes to mind, although it's usually used to talk about VC types.

Don't torture yourself wondering if you somehow put a foot wrong (this is what I did at first)! It probably has nothing to do with you.
posted by beatrice rex at 10:18 AM on April 29 [1 favorite]

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