This Is Why a Recruiter Doesn't Respond to Your Emails and Calls About the Job You Want

Dear Office Mom,

What are guaranteed ways to stop being ghosted by recruiters during a job search? Thank you for any advice,
— Ghosted
Dear Office Mom,  What are guaranteed ways to stop being ghosted by recruiters during a job search? Thank you for any advice,

Dear Ghosted,

Thank you for reaching out for my advice. I don’t know that there is a guaranteed way to stop being ghosted by recruiters. Of course, I don’t know any of the specifics, but here’s what I do know since I have used recruiters a number of times myself, and I was one many years ago.

 There are many types of recruiters (internal, external; those with a retained search agreement and those on a contingency basis). The latter find jobs just like you do -- by searching for them and then finding candidates to present to a company even though the company wasn’t using an external recruiter in the first place. They will either be talked into interviewing you for a flat rate (if you are hired) versus a company retaining a recruiter to help find candidates on their behalf (it’s typically an ongoing relationship with the company).  You are at a disadvantage with the outside recruiters because some companies may interview a candidate but have no intention of hiring the person because of the added expense associated with the hire, and opt instead hire a candidate their internal recruiter sourced.

Regardless, recruiters are notorious for making you believe they are your best friend. They make you feel all warm and fuzzy, convincing you they are working for you and your best interests. They are not; they are working for the employer. The bottom line is that recruiters are salespeople and despite the type, they have quotas to meet.  But, since you think they have your best interests in mind, you may let your guard down and overshare details about your background and salary expectations that in turn get shared with a prospective employer. That can end it right there. Or, if not, a recruiter may believe they can get you the job and they want you to get it because they have goals to meet. They will present you to the employer and get the all important interview process started. But if you don’t move forward in that process, they can’t do anything else for you and have no further use for you. That may sound callous (and it is) but you will fall out of contention, and if a recruiter can’t place you they will move on to other candidates that they can place, or who is a better fit. They may not want to tell you that, or give you any feedback, so instead they become distant and won’t return your calls.

Please share other information if I’m off target here, but I think knowing how “the system” works may give you an awareness you might not have had. And, sometimes, you just have to realize a recruiter and/or an employer just isn’t that into you (to borrow a movie title).  It’s important to just chalk it up for what it is, and keep looking for other jobs where you will be appreciated for what you can bring to the table, and not what you don’t. It’s a numbers game basically (more activity = more chances of the right job coming along). I hope this is helpful.