Ghosted by recruiters ?
Episode 173 - How not to be "ghosted" by recruiters
As job seekers, we've all experienced the frustration of being "ghosted" by recruiters during the recruitment process. It's an all too common scenario - you put in the time and effort to apply for a job, only to never hear back from the hiring manager or recruiter. But why does this happen?
In this episode, I discussed the root causes of poor recruitment behavior, including the impact of virtual interviews and the role of technology in the process. Join me as I explore the challenges recruiters face, and how you can avoid being a victim of job scams, ID theft, and applying for positions that don't actually exist.
I provided four practical tips to avoid being ghosted and answered some questions from my listeners.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Article: That's not a real job opening: Some companies are posting 'ghost jobs' but don't actually plan to hire you — or anyone
Episode 67 - The step-by-step process from advertising a job to starting a new role
Episode 78 - Portfolio career: What is it, and is it for you? - featuring Jacinta Whelan
Episode 142 - Seven types of job interviews you should be preparing for
Episode 163 - How to job search in 2023: An expert's view on the job market and recruitment trends, with Geoff Slade
Other resources from RenataBernarde.com :
Subscribe to the newsletter and access free tools to help you advance in your career
My free resources for job hunters: The Optimized Job Search: Weekly Schedule & Masterclass
Work with me: Book a time to discuss private coaching for you and achieve your goals faster
About the Host, Renata Bernarde
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients
Timestamps to guide your listening
09:26 - Tip #1: Know your area of expertise and be sharp
12:52 - Tip #2: Do your research
18:00 - Tip #3: Be comfortable discussing salaries
20:40 - Tip #4: ATS can be what blocking you
22:59 - Question #1: How to fix a broken bridge?
27:46 - Question #2: Is it true that calling the hiring manager before the application can help maximize the chance of application success?
31:31 - Question #3: Conversations with recruiters
Transcript of this episode
So many people that I talk to, that I coach, that I work with, don't understand that recruiters are not all the same. They're different. They're very different. They work for different companies that have different philosophies that are specialized in different sectors.
And you need to understand who are your recruiters, the recruiters that can make an impact on your career. So In developing great relationships with a few recruiters is better than trying to speak to dozens or hundreds of recruiters that won't remember you in the future.
hello. Welcome back to the Job Hunting podcast. Today we're going to talk about ghosts and how not to be ghosted by recruiters. I should have saved this episode for Halloween, but I really wanted to talk about it now, , and I know that this is top of mind for people that are going through recruitment and selection.
If you've been job hunting for the past couple of years, You will be very familiar with the abandonment that candidates feel when they're job hunting and they suddenly, you don't hear back from recruiters after being. , contacted and, talked to and so on. So I hear you. Lots of professionals are complaining about poor behavior during the recruitment process.
It's not just you and it's not imaginary. In fact, the UK recruiter who was interviewed for an article recently, he admitted that there is bad behavior happening. It is getting worse. It's not imaginary. I'll put the link to that article in the episode show notes for you to have a read if you want. . So it's true.
and you know, according to this recruiter and many people that I talk to in the recruitment world, the pandemic is partly to blame for this. Now we're gonna talk about recruiters per se, but hear me out, the pandemic means that people are not meeting face-to-face as much as they used to. So we're now having only remote interactions, async.
Interactions and it becomes easier for the bad behavior to happen, for people to behave badly and not just from the side of the recruiters. Also candidates who accept roles and then you know, everything goes forward. They sign papers and then at the last minute they tell recruiters and employers that they have a better offer either from their current employer or another job that they applied for. It's easier to behave badly on both sides, but it is very true that for recruiters, it's a really sad situation for candidates when they don't hear back. Job boards and too much technology gets in the way of personal interaction as well, and.
If you think about how recruiters used to work years ago, and I have interviewed a few expert recruiters on this podcast that have addressed this. One that specifically comes to mind is Jeff Morgan, and ironically, Jeff co-founded a a ginormous tech. Job board in monster.com. and then he addressed this, you know, the fact that technology took away the fun, you know, people that love interacting with others and understanding others and building relationships.
And many recruiters have those traits. The job boards and too much technology gets in the way of that personal interaction, and there is just too many people applying for jobs. Now I am in Australia, and here you would have 50 to a hundred people applying for a job. I have clients overseas, especially in the us, in big cities, in the US that when they're applying for jobs, they're like 300 people applying with them.
So if you think about it from a recruiter's point of view, that technology and that easiness of finding out the jobs and applying for them, meaning that there is just so many more candidates to deal with. , it's very hard for them to keep up, especially when the candidate's not actually the key relationship at that time of that assignment.
The key relationship is the client, which is the employer, not the candidates. So, you know, that is an additional issue with the ghosting happening by recruiters. The other thing that came to mind when I was preparing for this episode is liability, which makes it much harder for recruiters to get back to you and provide real feedback as to the reason why you weren't suitable for the role.
They lack the training, that will enable them to talk to you candidly and vulnerably about the reasons why they didn't choose you. And they also lack the sensibility that is needed to provide that feedback without getting sued. You know, depending on the country that you are especially in the US there is a real fear of them providing feedback to you and, saying it in a way that either can be perceived as having a bias in the decision making process or the bias was really there.
and the recruiter is the agent. You know, so many times recruiters tell me that they really advocate for a candidate, but the board is way more conservative or old fashioned or set in their ways and they can't get through to the board or to the selection panel to showcase the benefit of that diverse candidate or that candidate that even if it's not diverse, it could be out of the box coming from a different industry or sector that the panel that's selecting thatthey just can't get around the fact that that is not the ideal candidate that they had in mind.
So that's also happening. And finally applying for jobs that don't exist is one of the reasons that I find that ghosting is happening. What I mean by that is that this happens a lot with clients of mine. It's a way for companies, especially consultancies, to build knowledge and intelligence of candidates out there in the market that are available, but also what candidates know about industry sectors and, functions that these consultancies and companies want to learn more about.
So they fake a job interview a lot of people, gain a lot of knowledge and intelligence and there was never a job to be filled to begin with. I have heard about this from clients of mine and I have had confirmation about this as well. And sometimes, you know, when a candidate says, oh, the job didn't exist, I don't know why I applied.
When I dig deep, I understand that, you know, it's. The job did exist, but advertising, it was a formality. The role was already em acted for a specific person, either an internal candidate that was awaiting a promotion or somebody that had a very strong connection with the selection panel. So, That job was never there.
So either, you know, the job didn't exist because it really didn't. And it was an intelligence exercise and an opportunity for that organization to learn about who was on the market and what they knew about a specific segment. industry sector function that they wanted to learn more about. And that's really bad behavior in my eyes.
And the other one is a bit more of a situation of yes, you have the perfect person for that role, that person that you've trained, you know, that you've really want to promote, but as a formality, as part of the organization, they need to advertise for the role. I think in every situation when you're job hunting, you should go into it with an open mind, remembering that you're running both a sprint and a marathon, that the connections that you make along the way are really important, and if you make a good first impression, an impact during whatever opportunity you have to have conversations or communication with recruiters and employers that is not just about the transactional job that you are applying for right now.
It is also about further opportunities in the future, and I see that all the time. People that have been interviewed a year or two ago and then all of a sudden hear back from that recruiter or that employer for another opportunity. So you have to always go in and be professionals and you know, don't take it personally.
The ghosting is really not about you. It's about. a badly designed recruitment process that we're still kind of figuring out how to do better. And at the moment, it's what it is. That's how the game's played. So how can you avoid being ghosted by recruiters? I have selected four tips that I'm going to provide you right now, and then I'm gonna address, three questions that I received recently from you, from listeners.
And I, you know, will use this opportunity to address them because they're related to this topic. So when I think about you avoiding the ghosting by recruiters, the first thing that comes to my mind as a career coach is for you to know your area of expertise and be really sharp in communicating it to recruiters and employers.
And we often refer to it as a pitch. Some people are very crystal clear with their pitch, and that's very rare. Most people tend to waffle a bit and not really see the importance of refining it and fine tuning it. In my view, it's the most important thing that you can do, is to ensure that not only you have a good pitch, but that you're tailoring it and customizing it to the audience in front of you.
Your pitch is really not about you at the end of the day. It's about how you gel with the people in front of you, and how much you know about what they need. And you bring to your pitch the information that will best match what they need as a person that they're hiring and they want to bring on board.
So, you know, remember to talk about the industry's sector experience that you have, the scale and scope of the work that you've done. So many people forget about that, and they are really, wishy-washy with the way that they present themselves instead of being more precise, you know.
Number of people they've managed the p and l and, and cash flow or whatever metric that you can use to give them an understanding of what you're used to and what you've done before and not being afraid of working within that range. That's your range and you are good at it, so don't worry too much.
About talking about it. So many people think, oh, you know, I worked for companies that are weren't big enough. I have a client right now that feels that he's worked for companies that are too big, . And you know, we, we adjust that. We, we discuss it and when we adjust it to make sure that uh, that you don't alienate your audience.
And that's what's important by tailoring the pitch to the audience. And then talking about your abilities, your fit for the role, the roles that they, or if there isn't a, a role per se, and you're just meeting somebody, you know, what are the roles that they usually hire for that they advertise that they're in charge of?
So it means you have to put some effort into it and do your research and understand who you're talking and also as part of that pitch and that sharpness of your conversation is what is your motivation to change jobs? Why do you want to change jobs? It's important for you to be clear on that and make that great impression on the person that you're talking to.
And look, this can be at a job interview. This can be at a barbecue. This can be, you know, you meeting people for the first time at a wedding, it should be always there with you inside and ready to come out when needed. You never know if you've heard anything about my story, and if you haven't, I'll put the link to my career story.
I did a live event many years ago, and I then recorded it as a podcast. It's also written on my. website, so you can go and read it if you want to, but you know, you will see a lot of that meant being at the right time and being ready to take on the opportunity that was in front of me.
The second way that you can avoid being ghosted by recruiters is by doing your research, finding the right recruiters for you. So many people that I talk to, that I coach, that I work with, don't understand that recruiters are not all the same. They're different. They're very different. They work for different companies that have different philosophies that are specialized in different sectors.
And you need to understand who are your recruiters, the recruiters that can make an impact on your career. So in developing great relationships with a few recruiters is better than trying to speak to dozens or hundreds of recruiters that won't remember you in the future. So find those. Good recruiters and I, really don't care where you are.
I have clients, for example, that are in small regional towns and clients that are in big cosmopolitan cities, and they still have found the best recruiters to work for them, and they have being able to nurture those great relationships and I'm very happy and proud of, my clients that have been able to develop that. And I think it's crucial, it's really important for your career that you develop those relationships. And I a m using the word recruiters here. But it could be employers, it could be mentors, it could be former bosses, it could be, you know, colleagues of yours that you know, are going to, be important in your career, in your future.
It's a small world sometimes, depending on the profession that you are, you know, you, you're gonna be connected and having to work, collaborate with your peers and colleagues for many decades to come. So think about that as.
The other way that you can do your research is research companies and jobs that you could be a good match for which recruiters work with them, learn how to apply for those roles.
So knowing which companies is really important and those are the sort of questions that I ask clients when they first start working with me. And with time we start refining and refining those until we really nail the companies and jobs that work best for them at that point in time.
Sometimes there's something that you might really, really want to do and, go move towards, but you're not ready for that yet. So that is, you know, creating a career plan and designing it in a way that you achieve your future goals is important. Not everything needs to happen right now.
Some things you need to either do some professional development to achieve, or you might need a job between the one that you have now and the one that you aspire to. And trust your instincts. You know, by doing your research, you will be able to understand things that might not be right now, top of mind to you and easy for you to sort of understand and, instinctively feel if they're right for you or not.
Because what is instinct in the end? I mean, the way that I explain it is, you know, something that you feel when you are experienced enough in understanding the situation that you're in. So for example, Is this a weird recruitment process? The one that you've just gone through? Did you encounter weird questions, unusual requests?
So this is the sort of stuff that the more interviews you do, the more you've understand the recruitment process, the more you'll be able to tell is something is off. Right, if something is off and if you haven't interviewed, let's say for five years, you won't be able to know if something is off or not.
But because you have experience in interviewing, you've been doing it for a while, if you encounter a recruitment process that is weird, you will be able to have an instinct that something is not quite right. So, listen to episodes 142 and episode 67. Why Recruitment takes so long. That's episode 67, and it's a good one, it's a lesson from inside my group coaching program called Job Hunting Made Simple, which I made it into an episode to showcase, you know, the sort of stuff that we teach behind the client walls. And I know that a lot of you think a podcast is good value, but you know, I reserve a lot of my IP and my coaching for my clients.
So that episode 67 is an interesting one and it's one of two to three videos for that week. Inside the job hunting made simple. It's the recruitment week, it's the recruit the week that we really go deep diving into how to apply for jobs, how to work with recruiters, and so on. So listen to that one to learn more and be wiser when stepping into the recruitment process so that you can use your instincts to figure out if this recruitment process that you're going through is, you know, okay or not. Okay. So many other great episodes on this podcast will also give you some insights. So go back into the catalog search for job interview. There's categories there, and you you can find other episodes that might help you.
And the third thing that you can do to avoid being ghosted is be comfortable and wise when discussing salaries. Now, this is a controversial topic. I know some coaches will say, avoid talking about salaries. But sometimes it's unavoidable. It's unavoidable. If you're going to receive a call from a recruiter for a phone screen because you've applied for a role, the first thing that they will, well, the second or third thing that they will ask is, you know, what's your salary range?
What are you looking for? Now, some countries that is not allowed. So depending on where you are, you may not get that question, and that's great for you. But some other countries you will get the salary range question and you need to be ready for it. But even if you don't get it, you need to know if the job that you are applying for is within your range.
Sometimes something looks really lovely and is well written and you think, oh, this is a perfect job for me, and then you realize it's paying half of what you want. So you have to be knowledgeable and if you have a good network of mentors and colleagues and possibly a coach, you will be able to figure that out.
And if you're good at Googling and you know, going to places like Glassdoor or Reddit, you might be able to figure out salaries as well. I'm a big advocate for people talking about salaries and normalizing that discussion. I think we are not talking about salaries as a disservice to ourselves.
It's a disservice to the candidates and it only benefits the. And learn how to answer this question well, when you're asked, do your research to find out the salary before you spend time applying for the role, right? You want to be applying for the roles that will have the salary range that you want.
And most people, when they're looking for a better job, a different job, they will want a boost in salary. They will want a salary that is 20, 30% more than the one that they have now, that's normal. Some people might just want to change organizations or change locations, so they don't really want to do anything different or earn more.
They just need to have another job, that's all. And they might go for the same salary. Some people are downsizing for whatever reason, but it's important for you to understand what the industry is paying or what your sector is paying the location that you're living in pays as well. If you're in a big town and you're moving to a regional town, chances are salaries are different unless of course you, you're able to keep that work and work remotely, which is, you know, in 2023 when I'm recording this, it's, it's so good that that's more of an option today than ever before.
And number four and the final tip that I have for you today on ways to avoid ghosting is even when recruit phone screen, you, they may ask you to submit an application via their system, right? So this means that even though they've spoken to you, they found you on LinkedIn you have a great LinkedIn, you've done the LinkedIn audit with me, with maximized, leveraged on the LinkedIn searchability, which is what I always do with the LinkedIn audits, for example.
And they found you. They, phone screened you and they said, oh, you have to send the application. Now send it to this link. What happens there is most of the time, if the organization is medium to large, they will have a software and we call it ats, applicant Tracking System. And if you submit an application that is not compliant with ATS softwares, then you won't be chosen.
So you need to put the effort into learning how to do job applications that comply and excel when they're put through that filter of the ATS software. And you know, I teach this thoroughly to private clients, to group coaching. There's also a masterclass that you know, can initiate you on, how that works inside research a career.
And you really need to understand the importance of doing this. And to this day, I cannot believe the amount of people that spend money in doing their resumes with. You know, private I'm not even gonna say coaches, you know, private people out there that write resumes and the resumes are not ATS compliant.
Some people do a great job, but some people don't. And I have clients that, you know, started working with me as early as, you know, a few months ago, and they spent money with their resume design and we had to scrap it and start. So be careful and make sure that your resume is ATS compliant because the recruiter may have spoken to you and said, you're a great candidate for this opportunity.
Please apply. But then the technology has filtered you out of the race . So don't forget to look into. All right, so now we are gonna address a few questions that I received recently. So one question I have called How to fix a broken bridge, and it goes like this. The person has written to me and said, I took a five month engagement contract with a consultancy firm.
As a consultant, a strategic consultant, although this is not necessarily what I want to do in the long run, it has been beneficial on two fronts. It has allowed me to stay stimulated in my area of expertise, and it has helped me to remove the. paradigm of being a contractor. So I think they meant like the stigma of being a contractor.
And I, get that a lot of corporate professionals have that stigma that contract work is, not for them. It's not high valued. It's so valued and it's the way. The future for many professionals and many employers, and it's something that we need to overcome that stigma with contract work. So this engagement has made me realize that I could fit into the entering executive model that some of your guests have spoken about on your podcast.
I will link below the, two episodes that I have with Jacinta Whelan from Watermark, where we discuss entering executive as a way of working and portfolio career more broadly as a way of working in the. . So it then goes out to say that they contacted a recruiter, specialized in entering executive placements to explore the available opportunities to work with them.
However, after listening to one of your episodes, I realized that I have over explained myself and what I wanted and probably did not create was to have a, good impression for her to be open to chatting with me. I have. To work on creating a new opening to get access to this recruiter and offer my skills to them in a way that is perceived as of benefit.
So this is very much linked with my tip number one on how not to be ghosted with recruiters, which is to know your area of expertise and be sharp and have that strong pitch that is aligned with your audience. In this case, a recruiter that works with entering executive work thinks very differently from a recruiter.
Works with permanent roles, right? So you have to address your pitch in a different way, and you have to explain your experience in a different way. . So listen to those episodes with Jacinta Whelan to learn more about how they work and what's important to them. What takes priority for those high turnover.
So, you know, you have to be ready next week. And the length of the contract and how it's paid and sort of people fit with their entering executive work. So all of this needs to be part of your pitch. You need to address that as part of your pitch. But look, if you didn't make the first impression, and this is why I called this question, how to fix a broken bridge.
You can always go back and try again. I mean, you have nothing, nothing to lose, right? So going back to a recruiter with an updated pitch resume is totally okay, but be ready by the time you do that second try so that you actually have a better pitch the next time. Don't expect a recruiter to coach you on how to do this.
You have to go back to them and say, look, I contacted you a few months ago. I was still waiting my chances and researching the market. I now feel strongly that I am really keen on pursuing the entering executive type work. And I want to really have a go at this. I updated my resume to fit with, you know, the sort of candidates that you need for your clients.
And I'm attaching this to this email. So you have to really work hard to make a better impression the next time. The second time, okay. But do it, you have nothing to lose. And the other thing that you can do is you can send them an update based on a recent learning. So You know, if, doing this contract work, which this person that wrote to me mentioned made you learn something different about your profession, about your plans and what you want for your future, then use that as the, thread for that second engagement. I have learned a lot about areas where I thought I could not make a significant impact in the short term, but then, you know, I've come to realize the opposite. This contract work that I've done has been a eye opener and I really want to pursue more contract work in the future and use that learning.
to be the thread for your second chance with a recruiter. Otherwise, you know, if you don't address it, you don't address the fact that, yeah, that first interaction wasn't that great the recruiter will probably ghost you, you know, because it wasn't that great. You really need to come up with the goods the second time round.
Okay, so here's the second question that I received recently from a podcast listener. They said, hi, Renata. I'm a podcast listener. Love your content, and it really helps me gain confidence and strategy for job hunting and interviews. I have a question. Is it true that calling the hiring manager before the application can help maximize the chance of application success?
This strategy seems to be hit and miss for me. What do you. Thank you. Well, I think it is hit and miss because it's not always the same strategy that you need to apply. It really depends on how the job ad was written and what's there in terms of instructions, what's there in terms of Clues that they live behind to make sure that the best candidates do the right thing.
I teach this inside my, coaching programs. And in episode 1 69, for example, I spoke about following the instructions and I want you to think about that, you know, and, getting to know the recruiters, their methodology, understanding that different roles and different levels within an organization require the recruiter to work differently with candidates, have more or less personal interactions with them. And you know, the LinkedIn profile and activity performance that you have as a job candidate will really impact the recruiter's interest in you. So, you know, you want to make sure that you're using LinkedIn to your advantage if you're job hunting.
So it's hit and miss, I believe, because different recruiters, different recruitment companies and different jobs and different job ads will have to be scrutinized so that you can see what is the instruction there. And if sometimes the instructions are unclear, there are some clues there. That are kind of telling you what to do.
And yes, I'd love to work with you to kind of teach you and, look, I can't really teach this on a podcast. It's kind of visual. And it needs to be done in a masterclass , and we need to do this together. And, you know I love doing this. This is like my favorite thing is job application and doing it well and I call it gameify, the job application process to make it fun and interesting and very thorough. and not something that you need to start from scratch all the time. I have a methodology. There's a recipe to it, so once you learn the recipe, you can apply it over and over and over.
It's really funny. I had a client a few months ago, she got a, she, it's not with me anymore. She finished her private client coaching program. She got a job. But when we were starting she said, okay, so every single job application I'm gonna send you. So expect, you know, to get four applications from me in the next fortnight, cause I see private clients every fortnight. And I'm like, okay. I just, let it go. I didn't correct her or explain to her. She sent one and we worked together on that one application for a few days, you know, backwards and forwards. I was sending her, you know, reviews and updates and then she did all the others
So she learned it. She landed, and then she did all the others, and she was getting so many interviews and this wasn't straightforward job application. Let me tell you lots of challenges and roadblocks along the way for this candidate. But we were, able to overcome all the elephants in the room and there were many, and she got a job that you know, she really wanted right?
Salary level. right position, right organization for her. So, you know, it just makes me so proud. So proud. Alright, so the third and final question and topic for today is not really a question, is more of a comment. So this person wrote to me and said the conversations. That I had with a couple of recruiters went really well.
I changed the names here, by the way. I liked John. We got along really well, whereas with Mary and Tom from this other recruitment company, they were all right too, but we just didn't get as much of a warm feeling as I did with John. The thing about this is remember that I spoke about instincts, you know, and told you that you have to trust your instincts.
You will get that instinct from doing more and more job applications and talking to more and more recruiters sometimes. We misunderstand recruiters because they have personalities and some of them are lovely, wonderful people that make you feel so warm inside and they, you know, are really relatable and they make you feel really good about yourself.
It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean that they're gonna get you a job . And sometimes you have recruiters that are really rough around the edges, and they're busy people. They have lots to do, they're no BS kind of people, and they get your jobs. So it could be too early to know right now if you've only just started this sort of journey of understanding how recruitment works to make an informed decision about.
the recruiters and I say, recruiters can sometimes be cold and distant, but still have great jobs for you, or they can also be super warm and cozy and never get you hired. So with time you will develop a better understanding and instinct about the recruiters that will work with you and can get you opportunities.
You can trust that once you've had, let's say, a dozen interview, Okay, .
All right everyone, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I will have links that I've mentioned, especially with the podcast. I think that's all that I mentioned, wasn't it? Oh, there was an article as well at the beginning. So the article and the links to the podcast that I mentioned will be in the descriptions below, and there's also a blog for this podcast on my website, so go check it out.
And I look forward to talking to you again next time. Bye for now.