Following Up to Stay Fresh

Happy New Year, everybody!

My name is Patrick Tan, and I am a staffing manager here at Amtec. We are kicking off 2014 with new blog posts coming directly from our team throughout the year to give insight into the world of recruiting.

Today, I’d like to discuss the issue of following up with a staffing manager or, more specifically, how to do it right. As a staffing manager, I speak with many candidates daily to learn who they are and where they’d like to go in terms of their career. In an ideal world, I’d be able to find a job for every candidate I speak with. Unfortunately, the reality is that the number of candidates heavily outweighs the number of available positions and so, regardless of whether I get candidates the position or not, I will encourage people to follow up with me to check on the status of current jobs I’m trying to help them obtain or new jobs on the horizon.

Now to discuss the actual act of “following up.” One extreme: Simply don’t do it. The other: Call daily asking for status updates or any information on new jobs (around here in the office, we jokingly call it “calling-like-a-crazy-ex-girlfriend”). I know candidates like to call staffing managers/recruiters to stay fresh in their minds when new opportunities come up, but calling too much can definitely paint candidates with a bad impression.

What’s an acceptable amount? If we are waiting on the status of a position I’ve submitted you to, call me if you haven’t heard from me in a week. At the point of submittal, it’s a waiting game to hear feedback from our clients. In a perfect world, the hiring managers would get feedback to me within 24 hours, but as you can imagine, that’s simply not the case. The timeframe of a week (although much longer than I’d like it to be) is the maximum amount of “reasonable” time clients should take to get back. Unfortunately, they can and often do take longer, but it won’t hurt to call me to ask what is going on with a position.

If I haven’t submitted you to a specific position, what’s an acceptable amount of time before following up to stay fresh in the mind of a staffing manager/recruiter? I’m sure there are varying opinions on the answer to this question, but in my mind, once every three or four weeks is a good amount to let me know that you are actively seeking new work. I actually filled a specialized IT position two months ago for a candidate who would follow up with me monthly for over six months letting me know he was actively looking and available. One of my clients just happened to have an opening for his exact skill set, and he immediately came to mind. It took less than a week for me to call him and for him to get started. Without his calling like he did, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have thought of him right away. If he had been calling too much, however, it would have made me reluctant to use somebody who lacks the people skills to know when too much calling is a bad thing.

How candidates follow up can be a deciding factor in acquiring their next position, so remember to avoid the extremes and be patient. For those candidates who are looking for a fresh start to 2014, best of luck to you!

Want to know which rules to break in your job search? Click here.

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