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Artwork by Taleen Keldjian

Ask M+P: Ghosting

Written By Jaade Archer | Aug 22, 2022

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Welcome to Ask M+P, an advice column for creative professionals (and all professionals!)! Our Marketing Coordinator Jaade has thoughts, but so does our larger team. C’mon, it’ll be fun! (have a question? ask us!)

Why did I get ghosted by my recruiter?

Getting ghosted sucks, right? Believe me when I say I understand. 

The job hunt is hard enough as it is; routinely updating your resume with the proper buzz words, keeping a portfolio up to date, crafting the ideal cover letter, or reaching out to your network (totally ignoring your introverted nature). All of this on top of the endless scrolling through job descriptions? It can be a lot. 

Especially when it seems like all of that work results in no response. 

It can feel discouraging searching for work when you know pressing apply launches you into a vast sea of applicants. Intrusive thoughts invade your mind, making you question your chances of securing a really cool opportunity. You think you’re the perfect fit, then just like that you fall through the cracks, and the recruiter doesn’t follow up.

You might be thinking, what are you doing wrong? I spoke with a few M+P recruiters who share insights on the hiring process. Let’s chat with the experts! 

“General rule of thumb, if you haven’t heard from a recruiter, they might not have an update for you!” This wisdom was bestowed upon us by Tamara Fakhoury. She says everything depends on the role and the client. “I always reiterate to follow up with me if they (applicants/talent) are feeling neglected. Recruiters genuinely want to help people find a job that works for them, and something that will only improve their life and career.” Fakhoury believes communication is key.

Jordan Livingston thinks there is no specific answer. “If you haven’t heard from your recruiter in a while, contact them. The good ones will reply and let you know where things are. If they have inadvertently “ghosted” you (it does happen), they will apologize and drop everything to provide an update.” Plus, he thinks if recruiters don’t prioritize you then you should work with an agency that treats you with respect – excuse me while I re-evaluate my worth. 

And if you have followed up with a recruiter, but haven’t heard back? “Unfortunately, timelines for recruiters and clients aren’t always aligned,” says Jordan. Job seekers are very eager to find meaningful work but tend to be hit with a nice slap of reality when it comes to expectations around the timing of the application process.  

Tamara highlights the challenges recruiters face juggling so many relationships. “A lot of the time, clients and recruiters begin the talent search with a sense of urgency and the belief that they want to fill this position ASAP. But as time goes on, and other responsibilities come up, clients may end up putting a hold on reviewing process or needing to reevaluate.”

Ghosting is, let’s be honest, the ugly side of the industry. “It’s just as important to set expectations with clients. They regularly need reminders that if they aren’t providing timely feedback on candidates, they are likely to lose those candidates. The best talent doesn’t stay available for long!” reminds Jordan. 

Not to toot our own horn (beep, beep!), but M+P isn’t your typical staffing agency. We don’t use an AI system to review candidates, but an actual human being reviews every single resume submission. While that’s quite a flex, we should remember a saying my manager’s grandma is fond of, “pobody’s nerfect.”

Jordan fesses up: “Let’s face it, it’s going to happen on occasion, and we’ve all done it. Hopefully not often, but emails get forgotten or stuck in draft folders, or we just get overwhelmed and things get overlooked. When a recruiter makes it a habit and does so without remorse or, even worse, incorporates it into their communication strategy, it becomes “ghosting.” It’s unprofessional and disrespectful.” 

The mental gymnastics of ghosting can easily send you into a spiral. Turns out it’s no one’s fault – or at least not their intention – but there is sense to make out of this situation. Recruiters want to find the gig that excites you. If you end up feeling ghosted by a recruiter, we encourage you to reach out and follow up. We’re hoping a better understanding of the behind the scenes helps shine a light on both candidate’s and recruiters’ experience.

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