Getting an “in” with a recruiter at the company you want to work for is often the first step to landing a job. Candidates on the job market are no strangers to interviewing and hiring horror stories. Bad candidate experience leaves jobseekers sour, and with the urge to respond to recruiters similarly to the notes that Jane Ashen writes in her article, “Dear Recruiter: Everything You’ve Wanted to Say But Couldn’t.” One bad experience with a recruiter builds a bad reputation for recruiting, but it’s important to remember that recruiters are meant to act as your friendly company contact – there to make the task of transitioning to a new job smooth and less stressful.
A great recruiter is like a shepherd into the work place; they’re there to help guide job-seekers on the path to a fruitful career. In many cases, a recruiter is the first person candidates get the chance to speak with at a company. Whether you apply to a job directly, or if you’re lucky enough to have a recruiter contact you personally, you’ll want to make sure that your first encounter is memorable. Leave the recruiter curious about your background and enticed to learn more. The recruiter will likely have the initial chance to sell your story to the hiring manager before you get the chance to do so yourself, so you will want to clearly state the skills you possess that will make you successful in the role. Also make sure to give a good dose of your personality, because cultural fit is just as important as the hard skills. The recruiter has likely already looked over your resume by the time you get to speak with them, so the initial conversation is your chance to add some color to the black and white sheet of text that is your CV.
A recruiter should be dedicated to candidate experience, and will be just as invested in finding the right hire as the teams who make the ultimate decisions. The candidate acts as the customer in this transaction, and the recruiter is there to provide a service, which is a positive interview experience, whether you end up being the right fit for the team or not.
The euphoria of receiving a job offer for the role you just interviewed for is undeniable, and getting rejected is quite the opposite sensation. While rejection almost always hurts, candidates often comment that the one thing that can really add salt to the rejection wound is never receiving any feedback from the team. Feedback takes time for a recruiter to collect, especially if the team is interviewing multiple candidates. However, a candidate should not be expected to wait long for some sort of correspondence from the recruiter or interview team. Recruiters should contact the candidate shortly after an interview to get an idea of how the candidate thought the interview went, then the recruiter should meet with the team to determine finalists and ultimately reach a hiring agreement. After an interview, it’s easy to feel that the recruiter is asking you to “hurry up and wait,” but if you’re not receiving feedback, be persistent and let the recruiter know that you’re open to any type of feedback whether it’s positive or constructive criticism. You likely won’t get feedback the next day, but if it’s been a week or two, a follow-up is completely appropriate. If the company decides to ghost you after an interview, just keep in mind that the interview practice you received will make you that much more prepared for the interview that will land you the role that’s perfect for you.
Without a doubt, interviewing is a sensitive process, and the recruiter is an important cog in the wheel, so make the connection with them like you would a budding friendship, and they will have your back. If you’re interested in advice on questions to ask during an interview and the ones you should avoid then check out this article from Built in Colorado that features two recruiters from CA Technologies.
Jesse Santa Cruz
Marketing Specialist, Talent Acquisition
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