Time and time again, I am told that recruiters are terrible at calling people back.

Candidates tell me that other recruiters let them know they’ll call them, and then they hear nothing. For months. Even years!

It’s appalling. And it has to stop. Candidates are an integral part of any recruitment process. They may be ‘the product’, but they are also people! They need to be treated with respect.

When I began working in recruitment, I made a pretty simple pledge. That I would return every phone call. And I still do. If I haven’t called you back, I never got the message. But I don’t think that really ever happens.

So why don’t more people make this simple action?

It’s common courtesy. I honestly don’t know. But I can tell you why it still happens. Because both candidates and clients accept it.

Candidates will still (in the main) deal with people who haven’t previously called them back because they might have that one opportunity that progresses their career, or it’s with that company they always wanted to work for.

Clients still deal with people who work for companies that are notorious for not calling people back because they have a candidate who is just perfect for their business or they have specific industry experience they feel they could not do without.

And so, the behaviour is perpetuated. If you want the behaviour to cease, stop rewarding it! Use other people. Don’t take their calls. Be firm in your resolve. And for those who aren’t great at returning calls, you need to work to improve.

Start getting through those messages. It really doesn’t take that long. You never know where those calls are going to take you. I have found that some of the meetings I have made from calls that seemed so innocuous at the time have led to something interesting (and even rewarding!).


People know people.

It’s not just that person whose call you are not returning. It’s who they know and who their friends are.

Apart from the common courtesy, from a purely commercial perspective, why would you cut yourself out of a potential opportunity for the sake of a 30-second returned call? I really don’t understand it. But until we resolve to change it, and I mean both candidates and clients need to stop rewarding it, then it won’t change.

Sometimes the onus is on the other party – it is not always the recruiter’s job to call you back after an interview. You can always call to find out if you want to know how things are going with a role. But once you do, it is your right to expect the call to be returned.

You might be thinking, ‘Why does he care?’ Maybe you’re right. It’s pretty easy to differentiate myself from the plethora of recruiters out there – I just make sure I return all my calls! But it brings the whole tone of our industry down. And as someone who is passionate about this industry, this must be fixed.

Are you looking for a professional who will always return your calls? Contact Chandler Executive today.