Candidates – 4 Reasons Why Recruiters don’t call you back – Part II

Hope you all found my previous blog informative, “Candidates – Why Recruiters don’t call you back – Part I

As promised then here’s part II.

Before we get into the nitty gritty about this I think it’s worth restating that we as recruiters genuinely want to find each and every one of you a job so if we think you fit the job description we will call you.

If we don’t call you however it’s probably down to one of the following reasons:

Being underqualified:

Probably the most obvious point however if my client is asking for a number of years of experience with XYZ skills and the last time you touched on this was 10 years ago at university then it’s unlikely we can get you a role.

When we’re looking at permanent positions then a few years of experience, either way, isn’t a big deal but having no experience at all, though – that’s a different matter.

Being overqualified:

This comes up a lot on LinkedIn with candidates complaining they’re being overlooked because they have too much experience so to give you a heads up from the client’s perspective please consider this:

  • Client X has a team of 5 developers each of whom has around 5 years of experience (For example) and they report into a team leader who has 8 years of experience. If we submit someone who is more qualified that the team leader we aren’t fulfilling the requirement and down the track this situation could cause problems. Clients don’t like the idea of problems down the track so they’ll play safe and look for someone who’s more junior.
  • Scenario – A hotel manager with 5 years’ experience applies for a bar attendant job. Can they pour a pint/schooner? Yes. Are they overqualified for the role? Yes.

NB – The number of years of experience doesn’t directly translate into actual ability however from a first glance years of experience is all we have to go on.

Location, Location, Location:

Location matters, especially if the role requires relocation either interstate or overseas. It does happen from time to time that a candidate who says they’re happy to relocate actually does however in my experience the usual way this ends is:

  • Me to candidate – “Great news they want to make you an offer…
  • Candidate to me – “Oh, I’ve had a think about this and I have to leave my friends, sell the house, etc, etc,etc, so I think I’ll stay where I am, but thanks for your help !!!!

Funnily enough one of the common reasons for turning down an offer that involves relocation is “I’ve spoken to my wife and she doesn’t want to move”. Before you all start typing furiously saying how dare this recruiter say I can’t discuss this with my wife, it’s a family decision, consider this. I happen to be married and should I ever decide to leave Interpro and consider a role in Melbourne then before I even put together a CV I would discuss it with her, after the first interview she would ask me how it went and whether it would be a good move – for both of us. After the final interview, we would have another chat and decide whether it would be a good move so that if an offer was put on the table I could say “Yep happy to accept” or “No thanks it’s not quite right”. You can’t seriously be telling me that you would apply for an interstate role, have 2 – or more – interviews, get an offer and only then decide to discuss things with your spouse?


When it comes to getting a role here in Australia you really need to be a Permanent Resident or Citizen. We can occasionally help you out if you have other types of visa however unless you have a niche skillset then it comes down to a client hiring on a “least risk basis” and if your competition consists of candidates who are permanent residents and you aren’t then it may not go well.

From time to time we recruit for companies in the defense sector and for these types of roles you must be an Australian Citizen….and there’s no way we can circumvent this no matter how qualified you may be. If you see an advert saying that you must be an Australian Citizen due to the work being in defense, then it would be a waste of electrons to apply.

So this all might sound a bit depressing, however the recruitment business is still strong, no matter how many people are saying the industry is dead on its feet and recruiters will all be replaced with automated systems we’re not going away.

Technology can be refined to filter CV’s in respect of a particular role however as recruiters we spend years cultivating relationships with clients, we know the kinds of people they hire and what skills they look for so when we see a CV we can dig into our mental database and think of a client who may be of interest however who may not be actively looking and make an approach on your behalf.

Just because you may be underqualified or overqualified, be in the wrong location or not have the right visa for the role we’ve advertised doesn’t mean you aren’t right for other positions we’re resourcing or other clients we’ve worked with in the past.

To repeat my earlier statement – we as recruiters genuinely want to find each and every one of you a job so if we think you fit the job description we will call you.

Stay tuned – there may even by a Part III coming soon.

    Mark Kellett
    Senior Consultant – Technology
     D:   +61 2 8294 4014

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