A Betts Blog subscriber rang to ask my view about how he should manage his current Job Application last week, because he finds himself with something of a dilemma to overcome.
Having applied for a position he really wants through a Recruitment Agency a few days earlier, he then noticed that a second Agency is also handling the role. The Candidate had read my recent Blog article, Moral of the Tale: If you are job hunting build bridges, don’t burn them and he wanted to discuss how he might best proceed, to give himself a good chance of being considered for the job.
The Candidate explained how he’d first sent his CV to Agency A and then a few days later called to follow-up and enquire about the status of his application, because he’d heard nothing from them. Rather shockingly (in my view) he was told that such information was confidential and when he finally put the phone down, he had no idea if he was being shortlisted or not.
The Candidate said that he has lost confidence in Agency A to some degree, however, he doesn’t want to presume they won’t soon take action on his behalf and hence his call to me, asking for an objective view. Most importantly, he wondered if he should consider applying for the job with Agency B, but my earlier Blog article had made him think twice about doing so.
In my opinion, the core function and daily work of any Recruitment Agent is to explore every Candidate who applies, because any one of them may be exactly who their Customer would like to hire; that person could become part of the Team which helps their Client’s business to thrive. I also believe that what we do as Recruiters each day affects people’s lives; to some degree our actions can potentially alter the career and personal life of Candidates for many years to come – and that responsibility should not be taken lightly. Even taking an entirely commercial view, if the Agency fills the position then they will be paid for securing the Hiring Company’s new Employee.
Recruitment Agencies often receive many tens of Resumes from Candidates who want to apply for a Job that offers only one vacant position – and consequently they can’t always provide a personal service to everyone who contacts them in that first phase – but I can’t imagine any scenario that would prevent them from, at least, providing a basic response by trying to support each person who has sent their details.
I suggested that this Candidate first re-contacted Agency A by email, to ask for their definitive status on his application within a reasonable timeframe. Mindful that he didn’t want to upset them, in case they then decided he was an awkward Candidate who they wouldn’t want to recommend to the Hiring Company (which he feels he is not) I recommended a soft approach which built-in a cut off time and after which he would politely remove himself from their handling of his application on this occasion (leaving him free to then apply again with Agency B if he chose to do so).
By that time, ten to twelve days would have passed since he first applied to Agency A and I would reasonably expect that he might have received some kind of response by then (allowing, of course, for some longer timeframes depending on the programme plan and any other variable factors) but also mindful of the unhelpful response he has already experienced in this instance.
A further point came to mind after speaking with the Candidate and it is worth noting. If he hears nothing by the cut-off time he proposes to them, then I would suggest a last telephone call is made to Agency A as an absolutely final check – just in case they have sent his CV to the Hiring Company (or plan to do so) and their basic admin function has failed to pick up on his requests for feedback. By that stage he will have made contact with them four times and he will know whether or not his application has been given their full attention.
Should the Candidate then remain unsatisfied with their service, or indeed be told that he hasn’t been shortlisted, he may then elect to apply with Agency B if he chooses to, knowing that he has conducted himself in a professional manner – and done so without being the cause of any business conflict between all the parties.
To echo my earlier Blog, applying multiple times at once will not enhance your application for the reasons stated in that article, but Candidates should certainly not accept bad service nor feel unable to try for a better response with a second Agency, if their applications are not being managed as professionally as they consider acceptable.
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