Talking to the void
September 1, 2011 7:47 AM   Subscribe

What to do with an unresponsive recruiter?

Last February, I was contacted by a recruiter (let's call him Bob) who was trying to find someone at a startup that looked very relevant to my interests. Unfortunately the timing was wrong as it coincided with a big raise for me and I passed.

Six months later, a different recruiter (Charles) contacts me about the same position. My interest is piqued yet again, but after a few weeks of emailing back and forth about possibilities, Charles has gone completely dark. He hasn't responded to any emails or phone calls for two weeks.

I'm still really interested in the position. What should I do?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total)
You e-mailed back and forth for a few weeks? That seems like a long time, in my experience. Maybe the firm isn't very serious about hiring someone- if they were, surely they'd be bringing people in for interviews.

Also, this is the week before Labor Day weekend, and half of the world is on vacation. Maybe the recruiter is out, maybe his guy at the firm is out, maybe both. You might drop a line again the holiday weekend.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:51 AM on September 1, 2011

He's just not that into you.
posted by schmod at 8:01 AM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

They found somebody else for the job. In my experience, very few recruiters will close the loop with you once the opportunity is dead. They simply ignore you.
posted by COD at 8:44 AM on September 1, 2011

Recruiters can sometimes be pretty flaky. There's also a lot of turnover in some recruiting agencies, since they're paid on how many people they place. It's possible Charles left the company and his accounts weren't properly transitioned over to the next guy.

If he is part of an agency, consider calling the main number and seeing if there's someone else you can talk to about opportunities. But I agree that this specific lead is probably long gone. It shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks to secure an interview if the company's interested.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:02 AM on September 1, 2011

Likely this job has been posted on the open market and you are being cold called by multiple contengent recruiters. In today's job market with so many people looking, this is rare. Most companies completely bypass recruiters and employment agencies or use a retained recruiter or a limited number of pre-approved contingent recruiters.

Unfortunately schmod is correct. A contingent recruiter is only paid if the person they submit is hired. If the company shows no interest in you they will show no interest in you. Simple cold hard economics. Been there, done that, hope to never do it again.
posted by dthomas731 at 9:11 AM on September 1, 2011

Experienced recruiter here ...

Sorry you had problems with Bob and Charles. They're both dicks who give the rest of us a bad name.

Attempt to use their email suffix to locate the actual firm they work for. Call and ask for the manager. Explain your situation and see if you can restart the relationship. Maybe the position is still available, maybe not. Maybe you will develop a relationship with a reliable recruiter and hear of something else that's just as terrific.

In today's job market with so many people looking ...

True, the overall employment rate hovers around 9%. On the other hand, when you examine the data more closely you see that the rate for "four year college degree w/at least two years of experience" (i.e., many, many jobs in today's society) is 4.4% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 2011). This goes a long way to explain how there appear to be so many jobs that go begging when the unemployment rate appears to be so high. It also explains why employers are foolish to bypass recruiters in favor of a DIY approach.
posted by John Borrowman at 11:20 AM on September 1, 2011

Mod note: From the OP:
OP here. Turns out Charles was on vacation. I got back in touch with Bob and eventually got the interview which went really well, but unfortunately the company passed on me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:49 PM on January 12, 2012

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