Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You… Getting the Call Back

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recruiter tipsSo you’ve found the perfect candidate, a coup in and of itself.  But now that candidate isn’t calling you back.  There have been a few calls, a few voice-mails and at least one or two emails.  So why aren’t you hearing back after that first recruiting call?

There could be a few reasons…perhaps the candidate is a passive searcher and isn’t really interested in looking at new opportunities. Perhaps they’ve already taken a new position and are no longer on the market.  Or perhaps the candidate is responsive…just not to you.  Whether you spoke to the candidate once before they disappeared or not at all, there are some techniques you can employ to pull them back in.

  • Preparation: When you first reach out to a candidate, be prepared! One of the complaints I have heard from candidates time and time again is that the recruiter calling and emailing them didn’t even look at their resume.  More often than not, you will not get a good call back or a response to a generic email blast or a quick VM without first taking the time to really look at the resume.  Taking the extra few minutes to know where someone is working or has worked…to know what they have or haven’t done (rather than a keyword search) pays dividends fast. Being on point in your message, making a quick, detail observation in your initial call will get the candidate interested enough to call you back.  “John, this is Carey from XYZ recruiting firm.  I was taking a look at your resume and noticed that you spent some time at ABC Bank before moving over to DEF Financial Technology Company. I was hoping you’d have a few minutes to chat about a new opportunity that will leverage your background both in banking and commodity software.”  Candidates will assume you handle clients with the same detail and focus that you showed their resume. Be specific and focused.
  • Compelling Messages: So what if a candidate still hasn’t returned your call even after your well thought-out, detailed message.  Start taking a look at the way you’re reaching out to candidates. Is your message compelling? Does it include a good reason for the candidate to call YOU back rather than somebody else? I often find that getting a candidate to call me back was a quick tweak to my call technique. Letting a candidate know that you’re looking out for their career rather than just their next job is key to getting a call back.  “Hi John, this is Sarah from XYZ recruiting firm. I was just taking a look at your resume and think I may have an interesting opportunity for you.  I was hoping you’d have a few minutes to talk a bit about your next career steps and the direction you’re looking to move.  This may have some great potential.” Speaking to a candidate about their career path, direction and where they want to be is quite a bit more compelling than letting them know you have a quick run of the mill position they might not hate.
  • Follow-through: One of the pitfalls of agency recruiting is often the sheer volume of business a good recruiter is handling, day in and day out.  While we’re busy sorting through a number of resumes, candidates, voice-mails and emails, we can sometimes forget to follow-up with candidates that we’ve already spoken to and promised a return call.  Following up with a candidate with good news, bad news or no news will make you stand out from everybody else.  Additionally, you’ll note an increase in referrals calling you and emailing you based on your reputation for honesty and professionalism. Kudos to you.

Happy Hunting…

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Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.