All of us Recruiters have been through it-the dreaded MIA candidate. We speak with them, feel we develop a great relationship with them, get an interview set up with them and the client and then *POOF* they disappear. I have never had such an issue until I changed markets. I guess the hustle and bustle of a larger city seems to make people think that Recruiters are evil or not human. I tend to pride myself with finding great candidates and developing relationships with them. But when I do not get the same common courtesy back that I show them, I feel like I just got dumped. You don’t want to be the crazy ex-girlfriend however you would like to at least like some closure. All I would like to hear back is “Im no longer interested”. If they let me know that, I can still reach out to them or them reach out to me for future positions.  Basically, I have set up a candidate with an interview, and then reached out to that candidate 4 days prior to the day before their interview with no answer by email or phone. I am now stuck with calling and emailing that candidate every day until the day before their interview.  As stated I do not want to go crazy on him. I am now stuck with messaging this candidate on LinkedIn and texting. I would like to keep him in mind for future positions. I just need a response.

Any ideas on how to better handle this?

Views: 2121

Comment by Jerry Albright on November 29, 2012 at 10:52am
I'll send ONE email, leave ONE voicemail and that's it. Period.

He got you email, your voicemail, your text, your smoke signals, etc.

It took me a few years to come to grips with this - but it's now my policy. I will not hunt you down. I know YOU know I'm looking for you. End of story.

Yes, I'm a hardliner. My cleints are paying me to weed out the time wasters. Communication and follow-through are key skills in nearly every profession. Once they show me they don't have any - I shut it down.
Comment by Ashley Barker on November 29, 2012 at 10:55am

I completely agree with you. I would love to be able to do that but it is just not the policy.

Comment by Darryl Dioso on November 29, 2012 at 10:56am

Move on. If this candidate is this unprofessional and unresponsive to you, why do you feel that you could ever place him/her with one of your clients? Would you want to? 99% guaranteed that your client would be calling you in 3 months saying, "He all of a sudden resigned."

Comment by Dorion on November 29, 2012 at 10:57am
Ashley, it happens to all of us. In addition to the great points already mentioned, I like to inform the candidate of all the people who have invested their time into meeting with them. Usually, the candidate will extend the courtesy of an advance call or email when they realize their potential "no-show" could mean burning multiple bridges.
Comment by Terence on November 29, 2012 at 11:00am



These people are the scum of the Earth and worst of all they will sometimes get back in touch have a convincing story and they do it to you again!! But I have devised a strategy if not for anything more than make me feel better.

1. Ring them every day at least 5 times a day, email, text, and land line

2. Ring them at work and leave a message to call me back

3  Let them know about a dream job that ticks all their boxes then never get back in touch

Childish?? Maybe but I sometimes really have to feel i'm getting my own back especially when you have gone the extra mile to get them the interview.


I do console myself with the fact that Karma will get them in the end and they probably will end up in a crap job, with a horrible boss, get sacked, end up on benefits and stub their toe and stand on the plug in the shower on a regualr basis


I'm not bitter lol

Comment by Jerry Albright on November 29, 2012 at 11:01am
In my opinion - this guy doesn't care about buring bridges, or wasting anyone's time.

As a recruiter - our job is to "listen" - listen deeply - to what our candidates are saying. This guy is CLEARLY saying "I'm not interested." He is hoping that by going AWOL that you'll get the hint.

People don't like telling other people bad news. It's hard to do. They'd rather "Not" tell you than take your call, get back into another "this is why you should go to the interview" discussion, etc. He just can't tell you what you already know.

He is not interested.

Actions speak louder than words. Listen to his actions. They're loud and clear.

Comment by Dan Ogden on November 29, 2012 at 11:04am

The takeaway close - "Let's talk by [date]; if you change your mind about the interview, no need to call back - I'll just cancel it if I haven't heard from you by [time/date]".

Comment by Jerry Albright on November 29, 2012 at 11:07am

Terence - sorry, but I can't agree.

This is a candidate who should have never been set up for an interview to begin with.  While I have no idea what Ashley's process is - I'll take this as an opportunity to ramble on the topic.


Was this guy on time with your first appointment?  Did he follow up with his resume right away?  Has he actually dialed your number?  Has he done any "work" to show he's plugged in?


Many times recruiters (again - not suggesting this is the case here - so I'm just speaking in general) are the ones talking, "saying", convincing, etc. - when if we would just take a look at "what are THEY doing to show their interest" we would get the real story.


Small tests along the way - leave ONE message....send ONE email.....ask them to do something BEYOND "allowing" us to download their resume from Linkedin, etc.  They MUST do some work here.  If they don't - they're not interested.

Comment by Steven J. LoBasso on November 29, 2012 at 11:07am

Good Morning All,

While I agree with Bill about setting expectations with your candidates you can not teach people to treat others with common decency.

Whether it is a candidate who goes dark on you, or a client who tries to squeeze you on the rate or a third party firm you are subcontracting a candidate from who sends their consultant to another firm because they got $2/hr more you either have integrity or you don't

Ashley, if your candidate never got back to you after a few days then you already have your answer. They are not worth adding to your list of candidate that you wish to track or build a relationship with.

I always find it amazing that many people complain that recruiter are not to be trusted and we only have our best interest at heart so they don't feel that they have to treat them with respect.

It took me a while to look at these event without getting upset so that I can focus my attention of the candidate who wish to establish a relationship rather than case candidates who are just looking for a job.

Comment by Paul S. Gumbinner on November 29, 2012 at 11:08am

Ashley:  It is part of the business.  I am a single industry recruiter  - Advertising in NYC - I have been doing it for many years.  You would think that candidates would want to keep me informed of their whereabouts and their promotions, etc.  But it just doesn't happen.  (LinkedIn is a a very good source of keeping up with my candidates and it is very helpful.)  I have come to the conclusion that most candidates really don't understand how a recruiter can help them and that it is to their benefit to stay in touch with us.  Because my data base is huge, it is impossible for me to stay totally in touch and I rely on them to keep up with me.  My blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posting help.  I have come to the conclusion that I have to be the one to stay in touch with the best candidates.  But as we all know, clients don't always hire those that we think are best. 


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