Posted by: davidsandusky | May 1, 2008

How to Get a Response from Recruiters

Another common question is “David, how do I get recruiters to return my call or email?”  This question usually comes in the format of a complaint and is therefore a personal brand challenge for recruiters.  Many recruiters have a reputation for not getting back with candidates.  It is important to point out there are two areas of communications to candidates:

  1. Actual candidates in process for a particular search.  Complaints in this category usually refer to feedback or the lack of feedback following interviews with the recruiter and/or hiring manager.  Recruiters who do not communicate in a timely manor in this case are not being professional.     
  2. Candidates trying to network or “get on the radar screen” with a particular recruiter or firm.

The short answer is you need to have a compelling and short message that gets the recruiter and hiring manager exited to know more. Effective calls show homework has been done and you are adding value.  This practice is no different than a cold sales call – you are the sales person making the cold call.   

Keep this in mind: Recruiters and hiring managers get overwhelmed by candidates for open positions. What makes you unique? How can you help them? Answer the “So What”.  As a retained recruiter, I would do my best to touch everyone that contacted me with returned calls and/or emails.  But I admit it is tough with sheer volume.  Many good recruiters will get back with you even if just to say, I have nothing now but will keep you in mind.  Have faith in that.  Don’t be afraid to follow-up, but when you do, have a value add game plan including referrals for open searches you are aware of or candidates that could be a fit for positions you are aware of.  That would be a good “touch”. 

Hint: always be networking and keeping your personal brand top of mind – not just when looking for a job.  This is one of the most common mistakes by job seekers.   



  1. […] If you are having success in the right areas yet don’t have the contact, you need to focus your networking and career strategy.  The common advice of getting a warm introduction works.  Be aware, however, that just because you know someone who knows a VC does not mean you are in the door.  The filters are tight.  That is why there seems to be a pedigree in this business.  The attorneys, portfolio CEOs, executive recruiters, etc. are just as tough to crack.  Remember “How to Get a Response from Recruiters“?   […]

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