Following up: How much is too much?
By Lesley Farrow - MD at Farrow Consulting
I recently asked some Talent Acquisition Specialists / Internal Recruiters what their biggest struggle is when it comes to recruitment, and the common response was - constant calls from recruitment agencies asking for updates!
Well obviously as a Recruiter myself, I've been guilty of this too. So how do we strike a balance between not annoying our client and keeping our candidate/s interested and updated? This is what the Talent Acquisition Specialists / Internal Recruiters shared with me:
Ask at first interview stage, how long the client expects it will take for them to give feedback. This manages expectations from the onset, for everyone involved - client, recruitment agency and candidate.
After the indicated time frame has come and gone, and you have not heard anything, it is acceptable to send a polite and friendly follow up email enquiring whether your candidate/s are still being considered for the role.
Never be aggressive or emotional towards the client / Talent Specialist, by saying something like "you haven't responded yet" or "when are you going to reply". This only rubs the client up the wrong way and can potentially damage your relationship, and maybe even the candidate/s chances of being placed. Being friendly and understanding of how busy the Internal Recruiter is, will gain their respect.
Be "pleasantly persistent". After the initial follow up email, ideally wait another full week before following up again. Persistent doesn't mean following up every day.
If after 4-5 weeks you still do not have feedback from the client (unfortunately this does sometimes happen), I think it's safe to assume that your candidate/s were unsuccessful for the particular role, and to let them know accordingly.
Ultimately there is a fine line between building a relationship and just being annoying - patience, politeness and gentle persistence is the winning formula.