Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How to Successfully Communicate with a Recruiter

One of the chief complaints I hear from industry Consultants is that Recruiters do not follow up, particularly after the consultant's resume has been submitted to a client for review.  Unfortunately this is one of many areas of miscommunication between consultants and recruiters.  Fortunately however, there are so many recruiters and so many consulting and staffing firms in the Healthcare IT industry that no consultant has to be married to any one recruiter. 
As stated in a previous post, find 3 recruiters you trust, that have strong industry knowledge and connections and work with them exclusively.  If one isn't keeping you informed on new opportunities or providing you with enough employment options, drop them from the list and find another. 
When it comes to communication, keep in mind that recruiters are extremely busy as well.  At any given time a recruiter could be working on as many as 10 or more job openings and be receiving and reviewing 100's of resumes a week as well as interviewing multiple new candidates a day.   To put this into a "typical day" perspective it might look something like this:  8am - 9am Review all new emails and respond to possible candidates.  10am - 11am conference calls.  11am - Noon Interviews.  Noon - 1pm lunch if you're lucky.  1pm - 3pm Interviews and drafting submittals.  4pm - 5pm Recheck mail and respond to any needs of sales personnel, clients, candidates etc.  5pm - 7pm Dinner and family time.  8pm to 10pm resume sourcing, email responding, etc.   Also factor into that schedule: un-expected phone calls, new job openings, scheduling requested client - candidate interviews, occasionally having the horrible task of firing someone, un-expected meetings, assisting new hires with on-boarding processes and travel arrangements etc and you can now see why sometimes recruiters forget to follow up with consultants that have been submitted to a job that the client has not yet provided feedback for.  At any given time a recruiter could have as many as 20 (or more) consultants submitted to various job openings at a variety of client locations.  Sadly, once a resume is submitted to a client, most clients do not respond unless they are interested in scheduling an interview and it may take the client days or weeks to request the interview.  Behind the scenes recruiters and sales personnel keep in regular contact with the client to the best of their ability, but the decision maker on the client-side is also extremely busy.  Many clients learn the hard way that exceptional candidates will not wait around for a few weeks to hear back and will be swept up by other facilities.  This added to the lack of highly qualified candidates has started to create a sense of urgency.  The general rule is: if the client has not responded to a resume within 2 full weeks of submittal, they are not going to move forward into interview, but there are always exceptions.  The one thing the consultant CAN rely on; is when the recruiter has received an interview request from the client they WILL call you immediately.  They  want you to be hired as badly as you do, so if you haven't heard from your recruiter that probably means that they haven't heard from their client, not that they are ignoring you.  The best way to get the type of communication you desire is to have an up front agreement (UFA) with your recruiter.  When you initially interview with a new recruiter let them know that you expect to hear from them on a regular basis (whatever time frame works for you).  Also assume some of the responsibility yourself by sending a weekly email to your recruiter(s) requesting status updates.  If the recruiter doesn't respond to your emails then it is definitely time to close that relationship.  Communication is always a two -way street.

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  1. From: Turkan Koca, RN via email:
    Thank you, very insightful!

    -Thank you for your feedback Turkan!!

  2. From: Dawn Kesson, Epic Consultant via email:
    Cherie, First of all I want to thank you for writing this article.. I'm a newbie to the Epic Consulting world. I have experienced this issue time and time again. Thanks again for the wonderful article.
    Kind Regards, Dawn

    -Thank you for your kind words Dawn!

  3. Via Linkedin:
    ariel T. 5 days ago • Very goog article. Thank you. ...

    Thanks Ariel!