Executive Career Advice

Career Tips to Accelerate Your Career Success

Why don’t recruiters call me back?


Why don’t recruiters contact you after you have been submitted for a role? You wait for your phone to ring, it doesn’t ring. You send an email, nothing. You call and leave a voicemail, and you don’t hear anything back. I do feel your pain, I truly do.

It might help you in some ways to understand that a recruiter is motivated by gathering a shortlist for a specific assignment that they might be working on. Their whole business model is focused on getting someone appointed into a role, because that’s when they get paid. So it follows that their initial focus is to gather a short list asap, and while you might have been a great potential candidate initially, others may emerge that eclipse your experience, or it might be their (appropriate) sector background is more appealing

Having said that, I think there should be better communication in a lot of cases, e.g. just to actually come back to you to say why you were not taken any further in that particular process. Recruiters have to service their clients too, so keep this in mind as well, but I’d say this is the number one complaint among candidates that I speak with; particularly as senior level executives could be the recruiter’s clients one day.

I often advocate a ‘three strikes and out’ policy for senior level candidates. After chasing three times, I’d say move on to the next opportunity. If they want you, believe me, they’ll respond.

What have your experiences been like in this area?

This content is an extract from my new book Reverse Headhunting and features as one of the Frequently Asked Questions.

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