This is a question I hear frequently from very frustrated people across the world. I understand their concern and their disenchantment with executive recruiters. However, let me enlighten you on the many reasons why you should not expect a call back.
#1 Executive recruiters work for clients, not for you
There is a large misnomer about who exactly executive recruiters work for. They are engaged by their client companies, within their area of expertise, to source the best candidates for a position that is highlighted in their mandate. Therefore, the bulk of recruiters’ time is spent either with the client or working on their mandate.
#2 The average executive search can take six months to complete
It is a long and detailed process to execute a search. There are many hindrances in the form of logistics when the selected clients, for whatever reason, are unable to meet the agenda of the executive recruiter. Therefore, the search project can be extended, particularly when there are multiple candidates involved. If you are one of the first candidates to be interviewed, it could be a long wait. Remember, when exiting the first interview, to ask the executive recruiter for the projected time line.
#3 Job criteria is not always in the job notice
Most frequently, job descriptions are written by the recruiter and occasionally, these may be slightly off with respect to how a company will evaluate the right person. Personality and culture fit are not generally outlined in the job description. As the search process unfolds, a cultural fit becomes more important. Sometimes the candidates sent by an executive recruiter to the client fail to impress based on a number of issues.
#4 Your reputation
Before contacting you to place you on the initial long candidate list an executive recruiter or their researcher will call peers and former co-workers to do some due diligence on you to make sure your reputation with others and online, with an emphasis on LinkedIn, is stellar.
#5 Executive recruiters recruit, they are not therapists or coaches
Their time is crucial. They are not there to coach you on your career. They are there to assess you as a potential candidate to put forward to their client. If you want coaching or therapy, many executive recruiters can refer you to professionals with those skills.
#6 Executive searches are halted
There are times when a client, for many different reasons, decides to stop the hiring process and informs the executive recruiter that the project is on hold or will be permanently halted. Therefore, the project remains incomplete and your candidacy is halted.
#7 Recruiters are busy
Put yourself in their shoes. Executive recruiters work the same hours as you. I am told that a seasoned executive recruiter can receive up to 50 unsolicited resumes a day. That is a lot. If they were to place a call, albeit for five minutes per person, to discuss their career and candidacy, their whole day would be consumed. Remember, they work for the client, not for you.
#8 Referrals matter
Recruiters appreciate referrals. If you were referred to them by a trusted source, they are much more likely to give you a call over a cold introduction.
In summary, executive recruiters can have a huge impact in your career management. But the crux of this revolves around relationship building and management. If you are introduced to a recruiter, never break that relationship. Even when gainfully employed and having fun, always accept an executive recruiter’s call.