Tips for working with a recruiter from The Bagg Group experts


The only thing you can count on is change.  When it comes to the job market, there are times when the employment market is hot, and there are times when it’s slow.

At The Bagg Group, we’ve been placing people in full-time, contract and temporary positions for more than 40 years.  Throughout the years, we’ve seen many up-and-down cycles.  There have been times when companies were expanding and everyone was hiring, and times of belt-tightening.

As for where we are now – the job market has been better in the past, but it’s also been much worse. In other words, while jobs aren’t dropping off trees by any means, companies are filling positions when they have them.

What’s more, companies that don’t have the budget to add full-time staff are, now more than ever, considering contract and temporary placements which opens up opportunities.

Still, when the job market is slower, frustration shoots up for the job-hunter.   There are few things in life more annoying than waiting –waiting for a phone to ring, or for a recruiter to email you.

When a recruiter doesn’t call or someone doesn’t reply to an email, it’s easy to take it personally.  But don’t!

Take it from longtime recruiters like us– not getting a call back or email replay is not personal.

The reason you don’t hear back is because there’s nothing to tell.  There’s not more to it than that.

This is a case where the celebrated Occam’s Razor Theory applies.  This time-tested theory, which scientists and others have been using since the middle-ages, says that the “simplest explanation is almost always the right one.”

That’s a good thing to remember when you fret about why recruiters or others aren’t calling.  It’s not that people are ignoring or avoiding you. Instead, the simplest explanation is the right one:  When a recruiter has something to tell you, they’ll be in touch.

Everyone in our business would like to stay in closer contact with their candidates, but when we don’t have any new information to share, we tend to deal with more urgent matters first. So often no-news replies can get pushed down our to-do list.  It’s not a recruiter’s preference, but it’s reality.

With that in mind, here are some helpful hints for dealing with recruiters when the phone is not ringing much.

Be open to opportunity:  When you do get a call from a recruiter with a possibility of work, go for it. Everything nowadays is worth, at least, checking out.  You may not think it’s the perfect fit, but, for example, a contract or a temporary placement, can be perfect for right now.

Good relationships are a two-way street:  Your recruiter wants to help you find work. And if you can ever help your recruiter, in turn, by referring someone who may be an excellent candidate for a certain type of opportunity, they’ll appreciate you for it.  And so will the contact whose name you passed on.

Remember, people read but don’t always respond:  Keep your recruiter up to date, check in every three weeks or so with a very brief email to let them know you’re still available and willing.  But don’t worry if you don’t get always get a reply.  Your recruiter will read it and remember your name, and they’ll definitely answer if they have an opportunity to tell you about.

Stay active and stay looking:  Working with a recruiter is one way to find a job, but as the saying goes, many roads lead to Rome. In other words, you will want to pursue all sorts of avenues to get work.  Networking is hugely important so dedicate time and effort to it.  If you don’t have many contacts, work on making some by joining associations, volunteering, etc.

Recruiters are not therapists:  Recruiters’ expertise is in finding the right people for a particular job. So stick to work related topics and don’t try to make them into a shoulder to cry on or a counselor. They appreciate how frustrating a job search can be, but to do their job  — and to help you in the only way they can — they must focus exclusively on your skills, experience, and strengths.

Stay positive:  Attitude changes everything.  It’s an important job-hunting strategy to let go of negative thoughts and keep up your optimism and your confidence up, because that makes you a much better candidate –not to mention a happier person.

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