Recruiting Etiquette


This is supposed to be a tough job market with too many job seekers and not enough jobs. I would think job seekers would be extra careful about their business etiquette. But I’ve called and emailed would-be candidates to the point of “stalking” with no response – how many times should I try before giving up?


Both sides of the fence, job seekers and recruiters, have been complaining about the lack of business, or more specifically recruiting etiquette, these days. Seems that all camps are presently unhappy with the current state of things.

When contacting applicants it is most common to try multiple times and ways to reach them.  Whether the applicant sends in a resume or they are sourced via another method, you should call or email as the first contact, wait a day or two, then follow up with the opposite of how you first attempted contact (call if email was used as the first contact method or vice versa), then wait a few more days before making a last contact using the original method (call or email). Simplified it looks like this:

Email – Call – Email     <or>     Call – Email – Call

Depending on the time frame of the search, this contact process might span a few days or as much as a week or two. This method of contact allows for multiple approaches (in the event the email gets caught in spam) and multiple times (in the event that you catch them on vacation and unavailable).  This will provide adequate opportunity for a truly interested applicant to respond.

If none of these approaches work, before you give up on an applicant entirely, be sure to look at surrounding circumstances that might impact a speedy response time. Did you contact the applicant around the holidays?  Could their message be in YOUR spam folder?  Do they work on an off-shift that makes connecting with you problematic?  Make sure you provide them with alternate ways to get back in touch with you!  Privacy concerns may be an issue so be sure to be discreet if necessary and respect the applicant’s need for discretion. And, when possible, be patient.

Strategic HR provides a variety of resources to help you find the help you need. We offer outsourced recruiting, on-site contract assistance or contingency placement. We can create a plan that’s custom fit for your specific recruitment needs. Please visit our Recruitment page for more information.