Dos and Don’ts of Interacting with Recruiters When Hunting for Job

Finance Jobs

As more and more people lose their jobs and companies stall hiring, it is becoming essential to ace the trick of securing a job. Even as you resort to multiple channels—job sites, social media, company websites, head hunters and personal links or references —to look for a job, make sure you know how to maximise the potential of each option.

When it comes to recruiters, whether you have been approached by one or decide to avail of their services yourself, make sure you know the protocol and modalities of dealing with them. One wrong move and you are likely to scuttle your chances of securing a job. Here are some things to keep in mind while interacting with the recruiters.

Don’t mistake recruiters for employers: Remember that recruiters or head hunters are independent entities that act as conduits between companies and candidates. “They are not representatives of employers and this misconception lies at the root of all mistakes that candidates make,” says Devashish Chakravarty, CEO & Founder,

This has two-fold implications. “You can treat them as allies to seek information about the company,” says Chakravarty. So feel free to ask them about the company name, location, your role and designation, the skills required, as well as the tentative timeline of hiring. Agrees Neeti Sharma, Senior Vice-President, TeamLease Services: “Have a list of questions ready. Since your first call may be the only time you talk at length, ask all relevant details.” Also, do not hold recruiters responsible for employers’ actions and vent your frustration on them. The only purpose it will serve is to get you in the bad books of recruiters and eliminate you as a candidate.

How & when to communicate: Never expect an immediate response from the recruiter. This is because they will need time to go through the resumes, find a match, or discuss your suitability with employers and set an appointment. It’s best to ask the consultant when you should check for any updates. Add a couple of days and call or message. “Since recruiters are unlikely to take calls these days, it’s best to message or mail,” says Sharma. You can keep checking every week or 10 days.

The time taken to secure a job depends on your seniority. At junior levels, it may take 2-4 weeks, 1-2 months for mid-level and 3-6 months for senior positions. “But these are for regular hiring. With lockdown, the timelines have got extended due to hiring freeze, difficulty in scheduling meetings, among other issues,” says Chakravarty.

“While you’re waiting, however, do not mope and keep tapping other channels, net-working or blogging,” says Sharma. Do not depend on a single channel for response.

Be honest and upfront: In your communication with recruiters it is critical to be forthright about your past work experience and job profile. “Besides, you should be able to substantiate everything you have put in your resume,” says Sharma. Know that the recruiter will conduct a background check, skim through your social media and go through your references. If you have lied or exaggerated about any facet of your career, it is bound to pop up during this check. If you are caught on the wrong foot, understand that you will be dropped immediately and never considered again for any job. At the same time, do not go blindly with the salary that the recruiter has recommended. Conduct your own research and negotiate wherever required.

How to stand out: If you have been approached by the recruiter, you don’t need to worry about your resume standing out. If, however, you have contacted one, remember that key words will play a big role since recruiters depend on artificial intelligence and assessment tools to sift through resumes. Be flexible in your approach to the roles you can play in an organisation. “For instance, if you were a store manager, you are unlikely to get a similar job since retail jobs have shrunk. So, go for business or people management, among other options,” says Sharma.

Never forget etiquette: Finally, never underestimate the power of basic courtesies. If the job search or interview scheduling is taking unduly long, do not express your impatience or be unnecessarily rude and sarcastic. It will not say much about your people skills. Similarly, don’t be pushy or persistent in calling the hiring manager. If you don’t get a job, don’t vent your anger and thank the recruiter instead. Even after you have got the job, send a note of thanks for the recruiter’s help. He will remember you when the next opportunity comes up.

Quickest way to be rejected by recruiters

Here are the mistakes made at the first step of job selection that can put you out of favour with the hiring managers.

Being Inaccessible: If you are not responsive to the recruiter, you are unlikely to move beyond the first step. So, if you don’t take calls, don’t return the calls immediately, take your time responding to mails and are generally slack in your interaction with the recruiter, consider yourself rejected.

Making false claims: If your resume has information that cannot be corroborated or turns out to be false, you will not only be shunted out immediately, but will be blacklisted and never be considered by the recruiter again. Similarly, having a poor presence or contradictory information on social media will not be in your favour.

Being rude or demanding: Remember that the recruiter does not control the entire process of hiring. So if you are upset over the company’s decision or delay on its part, and vent your frustration and anger on the recruiter, it will serve no purpose other than offending him and stymying your chances of moving forward.

Being vague and unsure: If you are not clear and decisive about what you want in terms of your job profile and role in the organisation, or vacillate when it comes to accepting offer, fixing date or time for interview or meetings, you will not be considered for the job.

Badmouthing employers, colleagues: If you are unnecessarily negative about your past employer even though you lost the job to a Covid-related decision, or criticise your colleagues excessively, it will not reflect well and the recruiter is likely to oust you as a candidate.


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