When Deven Lall-Perry was laid off from her recruiter job at a startup earlier this month, she was pretty confident she'd land another gig quickly.
As a hiring pro herself, she knows just how much of a candidate's market we're in. May marked six straight months of more than 11 million job openings, and 12 straight months of more than 4 million people voluntarily quitting their jobs, according to labor data.
That doesn't mean Lall-Perry didn't face her fair share of recruiter ghosting, though.
Pretty soon after she lost her job, she went through her LinkedIn messages and got in touch with at least a dozen people who'd cold-messaged her recently about a job opportunity. She wasn't always that interested in the opportunity itself, but opened herself up to each one knowing it would be a numbers game.
"I put myself in several [hiring] processes knowing more than half I may never hear back from," Lall-Perry tells CNBC Make It.
Why recruiters ghost
Lall-Perry says there are three main reasons you'll never hear back from a recruiter, even if they reached out to you first or you're a perfect fit for the job:
- The company is no longer hiring for the role. This might become even more common as employers, realizing they over-hired in the first half of the year, scale back with hiring freezes or pauses through the remainder of 2022.
- Your salary expectations are out of budget. Lall-Perry prefers to name her salary range upfront — as a recruiter, she knows it can speed up the hiring process a lot. If her number is out-of-budget, though, she may never hear back from the recruiter. This isn't always a deal-breaker — the company may come back weeks or months later after learning what other candidates in the market are expecting and adjusting their own budget.
- An agency recruiter is in the dark about the company's hiring plans. This can happen if you're working with an agency recruiter, who works on contract on behalf of the hiring employer, or a placement firm, Lall-Perry says. It's really a breakdown in communication: a client company decides to go in another direction, or their business priorities shift, and they never pass that feedback along to the recruiter working for them.
It's frustrating to never hear back from a recruiter after days of engaging with them or after submitting your application. Why not just send a courtesy message saying it's not a fit, or the job is no longer open?
Lall-Perry says there are a lot of reasons this could happen that have nothing to do with you as a candidate, but rather "issues the recruiter may be dealing with inside their company but can't broadcast to the world."
One example, she says: "They may not have a true applicant tracking system, therefore it's difficult for them to keep track of candidate conversations and stages."
Why it's still worth taking recruiter calls
Given the number of ways you can be ghosted during the hiring process, Lall-Perry says she'll take nearly every intro call she can, even if she's not 100% interested in the way the recruiter has pitched the job.
After all, "most of the time, the recruiter is not the hiring manager," she says, so they may not know all the ins and outs of what the opportunity will ultimately look like. Instead, what you want to do is make it to a discussion with the hiring manager, who'll give you a better idea of what the job is, what your priorities will be and who you'll work with.
She also recommends job-seekers make a LinkedIn post to update their professional network about their situation, and mark their profile as "open to work" to get more recruiter leads.
In the end, Lall-Perry initiated conversations with about 12 companies, made it to final-round interviews with four, accepted an offer on July 15 and started her new director of talent acquisition and retention job on July 20.
Sign up now: Get smarter about your money and career with our weekly newsletter