Q: Out of the blue, I was contacted by a corporate recruiter who said her large firm was looking to hire a handful of people in my field. She wanted to know if I knew of anyone interested. The recruiter sent me the job description, which sounded like a perfect fit for me, so I called and expressed my own interest in the position.
The next day, she interviewed me by phone and explained more about the job and the company. The interview went well and she arranged for me to speak the following day with the person who would be my supervisor. That conversation also went well. The supervisor said he was impressed with my credentials and asked for references. I sent them the same day, thanked him for the interview and reiterated my interest in the job.
After a week of silence, I called for an update and was told the hiring process had taken longer than expected, but I was still a candidate. Still, no word on when or if I would hear back from the company.
A similar situation happened a year ago. After two phone interviews with a company, I was told I was the leading candidate for the job and was asked to meet with the owner, who just wanted to "check the box" of meeting me. She wasn't overly friendly, but I thought the interview went fine and I emailed her a thank-you note. She never responded, and I didn't hear from the company again. That firm regularly ranks among the top workplaces in the state.
In the future, is there anything I can do to avoid these situations, or are they just the sad reality of the modern job search?
A: Not hearing from a recruiter, either independent or employed at the company, could be for many reasons and should not be taken personally. According to Jean Juchnowicz, SHRM-SCP and SPHR certified, and owner-operator of Human Resources Simplified in Sarasota, Fla., the wait time between interviewing and hiring is typical for a recruiter and the company hiring authorities. Several weeks of silence is not unusual, as everyone involved in the recruiting process is engaged in regular work duties, as well as qualifying, interviewing and attempting to hire. Recruiters, both inside the company and outside (independent of the company) are multitasking; they may be juggling several job openings, many applicants, and coordinating with the hiring managers over the openings. The focus is first on finding interested applicants, but then shifts to those who will move ahead in the process. Recruiters may have a couple of tiers of candidates waiting to see which ones the company is interested in pursuing.
In addition to sending a thank you, an applicant can follow up in a week by email and ask if additional information is needed. Then, a week later if there is still no contact, the applicant can call and ask if a decision has been or will be made. Despite the silence and the wait, don't flood the recruiter's inbox with emails; this shows desperation instead of a healthy and positive level of interest.
There are recruiters that will not call or offer feedback as to the reasons a company is not interested, but it's not personal. Recruiters work to fill many positions at various companies at once, and out of necessity and the scarcity of time may be onto to the next search. Also, informing all those rejected can incite awkward conversations and pose legal complications. Remain positive and move on with the job search. Situations change and one never knows when chosen candidates may refuse, reopening the opportunity for employment at that company.
Email all questions to workplace and life coach Lindsey Novak at [email protected] For more about her, visit www.lindseyparkernovak.com and follow her on Twitter @TheLindseyNovak and Facebook at Lindsey.Novak.12. For past columns, visit www.creators.com/read/At-Work-Lindsey-Novak.