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  • Writer's pictureKhurram Rana

Do recruiters really ignore candidates ?

Let’s start with the very basics of why humans ignoring one another:

There are many reasons why people may ignore others.

Some common reasons include:

· lack of interest or emotional connection,

· feeling overwhelmed or busy,

· having a difference in communication styles,

· or feeling a power imbalance.

Additionally, some people may ignore others as a form of manipulation or control.

It is important to remember that everyone's actions and / or behaviors are influenced by their own experiences and perspectives.

Could this be about some form of superiority?

It is not appropriate or respectful to ignore people based on their socio-economic status or any other characteristic. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their background or circumstances. Ignoring people who are less privileged can perpetuate social inequalities and perpetuate discrimination.

A little about where recruitment fits in with Human Resources.

In most companies, the HR department is responsible for a wide range of functions, including recruitment, employee relations, compliance, and benefits administration.

Recruitment specifically deals with identifying, attracting, and hiring qualified candidates to fill open positions within the company.

In some companies, recruitment is handled by a separate department / team. This may be the case in companies with a large number of open positions or with a high volume of recruitment activity.

In such cases, the recruitment team may have a more focused approach on sourcing and attracting candidates and have a different set of processes and systems in place to do so efficiently.

Candidate and the Recruiter

Now we come to the big question. In terms of the relationship formed between a candidate and a recruiter where one is an aspirant for a particular job or role while the other is the gateway through which the candidate must pass to be considered by the hiring managers. This creates a sort of privileged position of the recruiter.

If we were to talk about privilege and its proper and moral use one can summarize it as follows (generically)

It is important to be aware of one's privilege and to use that privilege to support and uplift those who are marginalized. This can include actively listening to and engaging with people from different backgrounds, supporting policies and initiatives that promote equality, and using one's resources and influence to make a positive impact in the community.

Now let’s talk about recruiters:

Recruiters may sometimes unfortunately ignore candidates for a variety of reasons:

· Large number of applicants and not enough time to respond to each.

· Specific criteria not visible in the resume

· There could be some bias or discrimination ( age, gender, ethnic background etc.)

It is fairly important to note that now a days many companies have automated systems that filter resumes based on keywords, qualifications and experience, and that is why some candidates may not hear back even if they are qualified because their resume was not ATS friendly.

Side Bar

ATS , what is it and how to get past successfully

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software used to manage and analyze resumes and job applications.

To ace the ATS, here are some tips to follow:

Use keywords: Make sure to use relevant keywords from the job description in your resume. The ATS will be searching for these keywords when it scans your resume.

Use a simple format: Use a clean and simple format for your resume. Avoid fancy graphics or images that the ATS may not be able to read.

Include your contact information: Be sure to include your contact information, including your full name, address, phone number, and email address.

Tailor your resume: Tailor your resume for each job you apply for. The ATS will be looking for specific qualifications and experience, so make sure your resume highlights your relevant experience.

Use pdf format: Save your resume as a pdf, as it will retain the formatting and prevent it from getting lost in translation.

Use your full name in the file name: Use your full name as the file name, so the ATS can easily identify you.

Be specific and concise: Be specific and concise in your resume. Avoid using vague or generic language.

By following these tips, you will increase your chances of your resume being selected by the ATS and get shortlisted for further rounds of the hiring process.

Coming back to our main topic

How does the feeling of being ignored make the candidate feel?

It can be more disappointing for a candidate if a recruiter is not responding to them.

Not receiving a response can create uncertainty and may lead the candidate to feel ignored or overlooked.

In such scenarios, where recruiters are unable to get back to all the applicants, it is important for them to communicate the status of the recruitment process to the candidates, for example, by sending a form of automated message.

This can assist to reduce any frustration the candidate may feel due to the absolute silence from the recruiter’s end.

Interestingly, should recruiters be held accountable for not responding?

Recruiters should be held accountable for not responding to candidates in a timely and respectful manner for sure.

While in all honesty, it may not always be possible for recruiters to respond to every candidate due to the high volume of applications they receive, they should still make an effort to communicate the status of the recruitment process to the candidates and respond to any follow-up inquiries in a timely manner.

Not responding to candidates can damage the reputation of the company and the recruiters, and it can also create a negative candidate experience.

Further, I have noted some very good industry practices by various companies such as:

1- Having an overall timeline of their recruitment process on their website

a. Or sometimes as a part of their automated receipt email sent to the candidate.

2- Having videos on their site sharing about the volume, the realities of individual feedback not being possible etc. and the overall process.

3- Some companies break down the steps and share only the relevant information to the step that the candidate is now qualified for.

Do remember that recruiters are responsible for managing the recruitment process, which can be a complex and time-consuming task, but it's also necessary to balance that with being responsive to candidates and providing them with clear and transparent information about the recruitment process.

It is worth mentioning that recruiters are also under pressure to fill positions quickly and this can sometimes lead to them providing false or misleading information to candidates, such as exaggerating the salary or benefits of a position, or not fully disclosing the job requirements. As with all professions while there are an awesome majority of recruiters who are honest to their careers – you may find some bad apples occasionally.

Note to the job seekers: Do your own research and ask questions to get a clear understanding of the position and company that you are applying to.

It's also important to trust your instincts, if something seems too good to be true or if a recruiter is not being transparent with you, it's probably best to move on to other opportunities.

Having said everything that came to mind, I have a lot of respect for recruiters ( I am one myself too). The recruiters are the actual face of an organization, and many candidates form life long bonds with good recruiters even though there is a HRBP or HR team available to assist them.

People may have positive or negative experiences, it is also always helpful to remember that a recruiter too is a human trying to to their job as best as they can with all the tools ( or not ) available to them.

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Khurram Rana