HR Feeback: Do Recruiters Owe Sourced Candidates Feedback?

I’ve been hit up by a ton of recruiters lately. Seems like every time Dell opens up a new rec a handful of contract recruiters hit me up via email and telephone. I can see the calls coming in from all over the country and I skip them. “I’ll get the email,” I say to myself.

So there was an interesting one that came in last week. A local company sourced me for a “strategist” level position. I was interested in the company so I took the call. As we discussed the role the recruiter started talking about a different position that would probably be a better fit for my experience. She was excited about it as she laid out the role and promised to get my resume directly to the hiring manager. She thought I was a shoe in.

Then nothing happened. I took a short homework assignment and sent it in, confident that I had passed with flying colors and I waited. From the way the recruiter had been talking I was certain I was going to hear from the hiring manager in a matter of days. At the end of the next week, I pinged the recruiter, “Just checking in, I’m still very excited about the position.”

Here’s what she wrote back:

Hey John!

Thanks for the follow-up. I was waiting to hear back from the team. Although your background is certainly impressive, it doesn’t directly align to the experience they’re looking for. That being said though, I’d love to stay in touch in case there is another role that you might be a better fit for. Would you be open to that?

Well, that’s fine, but it doesn’t give me any indication of what the miss was, hers or mine. “It doesn’t directly align to the experience they’re looking for” means what exactly? It sure did align when we were talking about the project management aspect of the role. Or the writing aspect of the role. Or the leadership aspect of the role. So I didn’t align. Is that a way of saying I’m a bit older than they had imagined this “manager” to be?

It’s true, I’m an older worker. I’ve cut my resume in half just to get call backs. And if you go to my LinkedIn profile, there it is in flying colors. See, I’m not trying to be dishonest, just realistic. If people start out with knowing I graduated from college about the time they were entering elementary school, they’re not liable to give me a shot.

So what is the responsibility of the recruiter and HR team? Do candidates that spend hours crafting their responses, and doing “homework” deserve at least a hint at what the miss was? I think the answer is yes. I know we’re all busy, but if they’ve contacted me and I’m giving them enough time to put me in their system, in their format, in their words, don’t they owe me a little time on the backend to tell me what went wrong?

I know this is not how the world works. And I know in today’s market, a hiring market they call it, recruiters and HR people hold all the cards. Getting mad about one experience is not a good strategy in the long-run. But, people, let’s remember that we’re all doing the best we can. If I give you an hour of my time, at least give me ten minutes to tell me the truth.

Respect goes both ways.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

PS: Yes, I know this post is not going to get me a lot of bonus points with future recruiters, but if I get a little bit more information, I’m up for it. Still looking for my next FT position.

A few of the networks you will find me on:

  • linkedin – the professional networking and contacts social site
  • twitter – the firehose of sharing (mostly social media, funny, and odd political)
  • facebook – recently launched uber.la facebook page
  • google+ – gathering all that’s googled in one place
  • pinterest – what started as fashion sharing is rapidly becoming the visual delicious
  • my Amazon Author’s Page: John Oakley McElhenney
  • my about.me/jmacofearth page < way more connections then you’ll ever need about me

image: feedback, creative commons usage

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