Candidates – Why Recruiters Don’t Call You Back – Part I

Candidates, Why Recruiters Don’t Call You?

Recruiters are “useless” right…? “I take time out to send them my CV and they never call me back…!!”. “They’re a waste of space…!!”

How often has this comment been made on LinkedIn? It’s usually accompanied by the comment that “The recruiter could at least call me for a couple of minutes it’s really not that much to ask….”

Well, I was thinking about this so thought I’d scribble down a few words to let you know how it is from our side.

On an average day I get around 20-30 CV’s in my inbox and if I could find roles for every single one of you I would be the maestro of recruitment. In fact, after doing this for a couple of years I could retire to my tropical paradise and sip cocktails for the rest of my days…..unfortunately, though it’s not like that.Pick Up 6

It’s absolutely true that taking a couple of minutes to call someone who’s sent me a CV isn’t that much to ask……from a candidates point of view…..and it would be a perfectly reasonable statement to make if I was only dealing with 1 candidate, however let’s see what happens when we apply this in the real world.

So….I receive 20-30 CV’s a day  – let’s average it out and say 25, and I call every single one of you, each call taking a couple of minutes (and let’s be honest here, it’s quite likely that the calls would be a lot longer than a couple of minutes), there goes almost an hour out of my day –  Now that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? After all, I still have another 7 hours to work. However, let’s continue with the maths… 1hr per day = 5 hours per week – Let’s assume I work 48 weeks per year (Even recruiters are allowed holidays after all 🙂 ) …. 5 hours per week now adds up to 240 hours a year or – to put it in a more understandable way – 30 business days a year.

Can you imagine the conversation I would have with my manager if I told him I was going to spend 6 weeks just letting candidates know I’d received their CV’s?

There are many reasons why we don’t call you back the minute we receive your CV, reasons that are probably best left for another day and another blog – Part II perhaps, however rest assured that if you look like a good match we will call you back, pronto…..if you don’t get a call don’t feel too downhearted, we have your details and our memories are long, when we get a position we think you would be good for we will call you…..promise…..

Until then, though, bear with us, the issue is a lack of time not a lack of decency……

This blog was written by Mark Kellett – Mark works in our Sydney office. His primary focus here is hiring high calibre software and hardware engineers, individuals with proven experience in Embedded Systems, Firmware, Hardware design and full product lifecycle experience in the M2M – IoT industry.

If you have any thoughts or comments on Mark’s blog then please feel free to share them below. You can also check out his latest active jobs list on his bio page on our website.



  • Ahmed September 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm Reply

    I’m all good with what you said Mark, except the 30 days calculations! During your few calls back you might learn more about some candidate who’s actually more than what his/her CV is saying,..Maybe suitable for other opportunity.. maybe you will save days chasing the ONE while you already pass him, , tens of benefits I can mention! Eventually it’s a time invested doing your job and one day it pays-off

  • Mark September 15, 2016 at 8:56 am Reply

    Hi Ahmed,
    Many thanks for the response, I fully appreciate that side of the debate. The bulk of us genuinely do want to help unfortunately though we just get swamped,
    The fact is though that it’s not just a few calls, to have a proper in-depth conversation about what someone’s looking for etc takes around 15-30 minutes, multiply that by around 20-25 CV’s a day and it’s unfortunately not feasible.

  • Andrew September 16, 2016 at 11:21 am Reply

    Mark makes a good point about the amount of time it would use to call each and every applicant back, and I understand how it gets a bit thick when you get the classic rejection email: “We’re sorry but at this time…….” The thing which annoys me is when you get to the interview stage, or spend 45 minutes on the phone talking to the recruiter/HR person/hirer, but then hear nothing for weeks afterward. Then you take more time yourself to contact the interviewer/hirer, and they say “You weren’t successful. Maybe next time.” Maybe a phone call or email, just to keep you in the loop, when they have discovered you are not quite suitable would be a little more relief for the job hunter.

  • Mark September 16, 2016 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Hi Andrew,
    Many thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, the point you make is well made and should be something we all take on board.
    What tends to have happened in cases like these where we – as recruiters – seem to go dark is that we call the client for feedback and are told he/she’s unavailable and to try tomorrow, we call back the following day and the client’s off site and we should call back again. We don’t call yourself as a candidate “today” because we’re going to get feedback “tomorrow” so we’ll call you then when we do get some feedback.
    Unfortunately we keep calling the client and get told various reasons why they can’t speak to us today so we put off calling the candidate “until tomorrow” and as we know tomorrow never comes and before we know it a week or 2 has gone by.
    It’s not a common occurrence for this to happen however I would suspect that this is the chain of events when we do seem to go quiet.
    From a personal perspective I try and keep my candidates in the loop with feedback as soon as I get it, it’s not pleasant delivering bad news, I would much rather call to say you’ve been offered a role, however it’s the decent thing to do when it comes to bad news. In the instance when I haven’t heard from the client I still believe it’s important to keep up communication with the candidate to reassure them that you’re trying your best.

    Thanks again for the comment.

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