Why You Don’t Hear Back from External Recruiters and Headhunters

This is a common issue with recruiters, who mean well, but are forced to be salespeople, recruitment experts, and client managers simultaneously. This results in a high stress environment, and a customer/potential customer (the company hiring) focus. I recommend retained search firms to my clients, and let the client know ahead of time that recruiter follow-ups are rare. My clients are also informed that many times when they follow up, their voicemails and emails will go unanswered.

Sometimes the recruiter has a client that is unresponsive, and must make the choice of telling the client the truth and losing them as a candidate or waiting to see if things change. Other times the recruiter feels they are too busy to make a call or send an email, or don’t want to be bothered. It really is similar to companies who ghost candidates. An unfortunate reality that isn’t going to change, even if we name them online, which could be considered bullying or result in a lawsuit. Our best advice to our clients is not to rely on external recruiters as their only job search choice, as only a small percentage of jobseekers ever get a job this way. Instead, have them as part of your job search plan, but with realistic expectations. This eliminates a lot of disappointment and stress.