At this point, many of you who are even passively looking for a new opportunity have very likely gotten some type of outreach from recruiters. This is all fine and dandy when you’re receiving calls about jobs you actually want. But what about those calls you get for jobs you don’t want?
Just say no!
For starters, they’ll leave you alone. Most of us in recruiting are a bit tenacious, and it’s actually not at all because we want to hound you or be difficult. Instead, many of us have learned the hard way that lack of response does not always equal a “no” response. Personally, many times I’ve interpreted a lack of response to mean lack of interest, so I stopped. Later, I learned that the reality was quite different.
Here are a few (real) explanations of what was actually going on behind the scenes:
- Candidate changed their number last week but hadn’t updated their Indeed resume. So I was basically calling a wrong number without realizing it.
- I left voicemails but candidate forgot their password and didn’t get any of them.
- Candidate thought they responded to my email but didn’t hit send. Their response was sitting in their draft items.
- Candidate thought they responded to my text but actually forgot to hit send (and couldn’t figure out why I ghosted them).
- All my emails went to spam.
- Voicemail was full or not set up but candidate had no idea.
- Person who took my message put it somewhere the candidate didn’t see it or couldn’t find it.
And that’s just a few! As you can see from that laundry list of complications, that firm “no” tells us we can move on and spend time elsewhere. And we can stop bothering you.
But there are more (even better) benefits
In the event you actually are looking but this role just isn’t the right thing, what does the ideal job look like? That information will keep you on that recruiter’s radar. Who knows…maybe the perfect match comes in for you next week. Without this little briefing on what you’re seeking, they likely wouldn’t think to give you a call.
Building the relationship
When you’ve found a good recruiter, it never hurts to build that relationship. And it’s really as simple as staying touch. Maybe it’s a quick message to alert them that you’re still looking. Or perhaps you just tell them “no” when what they have just doesn’t sound good. In the end, maybe the job you get is something you find on your own. But who knows! It may just be that the recruiter turns out to have been the perfect resource for your search.
They know you’re still available
If it’s a “no” because you are not looking any longer, that’s ok! They’ll update your status so you don’t keep getting those pesky calls.
But if you’re looking and it’s just that the specific job isn’t the right match, now they know to keep you on the list. While it’s true that lack of response doesn’t immediately mean “no” to recruiters, they do eventually take the hint. It means they’ll stop calling you about jobs because they didn’t hear back about the last 2 or 3 roles they called about. That becomes a problem if you’re still looking!
Written by Adam Lafield