Respond to Those “Pesky” Recruiter Emails & Calls

Posted by Chrissa Dockendorf

respond to those pesky emails and phone callsIf you talk to anyone who is looking for a job, you will most certainly find that all of them have experienced a situation where no one ever contacts them after they apply. Their resume goes into a black hole never to be heard from again, and they are left wondering what happened.

Recruiters talk a lot about candidate experience and there is a lot of industry push for all recruiters to do better at responding to applicants. There are a ton of blogs and articles you can read about that if you are interested. But I want to talk about YOU, the potential candidate, and how you don’t respond to recruiters either.

I get that you feel spammed with emails and that often the positions they want to talk about are nowhere close to your skill set. I’m not saying you need to respond to every recruiter that reaches out. But if the recruiter has contacted you about a position that aligns with your skill set and seems to have done their research before contacting you, even if you aren’t looking, you should take the time to respond.

I have touched on why it is important to keep a recruiter in your toolbox before. But I want to drive the point home a little more on why knowing recruiters and responding to them is good for you.

  1. We Know People

Recruiters are networked, we spend most of our days stalking and talking to people. We connect with people just in case they know other people who might be the people we are seeking. It’s a crazy web and it extends far, but it can be used to your advantage. If you respond to a recruiter’s email and get that conversation going you might find that even though this position isn’t right for you, they could know someone who might be able to help you better. Just ask.

Recruiters often (or at least they should) ask candidates that aren’t a match for referrals, so do the same. Do you know someone who might be a better fit for the recruiter? Do a trade, resume referral for recruiter referral. Who knows what could happen!

Don’t let that relationship fizzle out afterward though. Work to connect with the original recruiter via social media or by staying in touch monthly just to check in. They may have seen an opening that you would be great for you and will want to share.

  1. We Rep Our Company

Understanding, not just the position but also the company is important for recruiters who work in-house or even in an RPO (recruitment process outsourcing). We know what type of people the company is looking for in their hires.

If you are someone we think could be great for the company then we can work with you to find the right placement. Maybe we don’t support the exact work you’re seeking, but we will most likely know who does and can make that connection. Knowing recruiters in companies you are targeting can help get your foot in the door.

  1. Nothing Lasts Forever

Candidates often won’t respond to emails when they are not actively looking for a job. There are a ton of reasons why. You don’t want to be bothered if you are happy in your job, or you don’t want to waste the recruiter’s time, or you can’t respond to even one more email.

All of those are fine reasons not to respond. However, one day you might find yourself laid off and desperately trying to apply and find a new job as quickly as possible. The power of networking is real. If you have a list of recruiters you have stayed in touch with, then you might not be without a job for very long.

If you aren’t looking, just take a second to reply to the recruiter and let them know that you’re happy where you are, but would like to keep in touch for the future. Follow it up with a LinkedIn request and carry on with your day. You have added that recruiter to your network and can reach out directly if something falls apart.

The Grass May Be Greener

Your current job may be amazing. You may love your employer, employees, manager, everyone. It’s all sunshine and rainbows every day and nothing could be better! If that is you, congratulations! But I have yet to talk to anyone who didn’t have an opinion on at least one thing that could improve in their work environment.

Often when we have been in a job for a long time we are so content that we don’t even look to see what other options are available. The recruiter may offer you an opportunity that does challenge you more, provides better growth and learning opportunities, awesome benefits, or the project might be cooler.

Better opportunities do come along. Don’t get complacent in your job because everything seems fine. Do you really want fine for the rest of your career?

There are a ton of reasons to have recruiters in your career toolbox, but no good reasons why you shouldn’t. Will most of the emails you receive from recruiters be spam? Maybe. Will there sometimes be a recruiter who reaches out and has a legitimate opportunity for you? Absolutely.

It’s okay to be picky about who you respond to, but make an active effort to think to the future and respond to those that may hold promise.

Chrissa DockendorfChrissa Dockendorf is a recruiting resource manager for g2, Inc., and program support / social media manager for Redefining Women in Tech. She is a supporter of diversity and equity efforts, addicted to coffee, and mom to 4. 



This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 3:10 pm

4 thoughts on “Respond to Those “Pesky” Recruiter Emails & Calls”

  1. I am an IT professional and have recruited personnel. I am constantly called by recruiters. If I answered each call, that is all I would get done. I prefer to have them leave a message and allow me time to get some work done. I can then later respond to those with interesting positions and ignore the rest. So many will just hang up. It’s real-time phone or nothing. I also respond to emails from recruiters if I am interested in the job. I do not respond to all email with a decline message and they don’t want to wasted time reading those.

  2. I agree. My resume is not public yet because I am in a gov job at the moment and cannot afford to leave it or the uncertainty involved with the whole process. However, no matter what, when I do get an offer, I always respond with a full explanation of why I cannot yet escape my current situation.

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