By:  Tracy Levine, Principal, Advantage Talent Inc., Managing Principal, Renaissance Executive

Every other week, The Advantage Talent Inc. Renaissance Executive Transition Forum, composed of top Executives who are highly educated and highly accomplished, meet for networking and peer mentorship.  They share their successes and their obstacles.  An obstacle that gets brought up every meeting is the lack of follow-up by Executive Recruiters and Hiring Managers once a candidate has applied to a job.  With the advent of online job applications the process has become very impersonal.

The following are some reasons why Recruiters and Hiring Managers may not be responding to a Candidate.

Volume of Resumes:  The U6 unemployment numbers have been hovering between 15-17% since 2009.  According the Bureau of Labor Statistic the U6 unemployment number was 16.2% in June.  This equates to approximately 23.5 million people looking for jobs. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm)  Recruiters and Hiring Managing are seeing an unprecedented number of applicants.  It has become too overwhelming to send confirmation emails or personal feedback.  Compounding this problem are candidates hiring companies to mass mail their resumes to recruiters and hiring managers.

Hiring Managers OverwhelmedLet’s talk on the phone, get Coffee or get Lunch to Discuss Opportunities:  Gone are the days of courtesy interviews.  Most recruiters and hiring managers do not have time to talk on the phone, get coffee or get lunch to discuss possible future opportunities with individual candidates.  The sheer volume of requests for these types of interactions makes the odds of a Recruiter or Hiring Manager calling a job seeker back slim to none. The best way to up your odds of a callback is to offer to help the hiring manager.  For example, if you know of a perfect candidate for a posted job, contact the hiring manager with the information.  During this phone call, you can talk about the type of opportunities you are interested in learning about.

Not Following Directions on How to Apply for the Job:  The most common mistake is applying for a job without attaching a resume.  The second mistake is not attaching a cover letter when one is requested.  For example, on Emory University’s Alumni Career Board, there is a box where the employer can check if they want a cover letter or not.  Not including a cover letter when the employer requests one may take the Candidate out of consideration.  On the other hand, a no cover letter request means do not send one.  Ignoring the hiring manager’s preferences is disrespectful and will probably result in no communication from the hiring manager.

Writing an e-mail or sending a Linkedin message about a job posting is not the same action as applying for a job.  The “apply here” button is at the end of posted jobs for a reason.  In the same category is a candidate calling because they have seen a posting and they want to talk about the job.  Without a resume, the hiring manager has no reason to believe the Candidate is going to be better than the Candidates who have already applied.   Once again, look at the U6 number.  With so many people looking for jobs, hiring managers are probably not going to take the time to chit-chat with a candidate about a job they might be qualified to fill or might apply to in the future.  Candidates who follow directions and do not try to circumvent the process get considered first.  Not applying for a job almost guarantees a Candidate will not hear from the hiring manager.

The Answer can be found in the Job Description:  The absolute disconnect between some Candidates’ resumes and the job description can leave the hiring manager shaking their head.   If a candidate has applied to a job and not received feedback, they might want to reread the job description.  Please consider how the recipient would view your value to the organization.

If the Hiring Manager or Recruiting Firm do not see value in speaking with you, you might want to consider changing your approach.