When a job candidate doesn’t answer the phone…

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In recent years HR professionals have noticed a steadily growing trend – candidates are answering the phone much less often. On the one hand, this phenomenon is strange (if someone has sent a CV, he should answer the phone when a recruiter calls him with a job offer), and on the other hand it is quite understandable in modern realities.

The “new normal” comes into play, the peculiarities of the zoomer mentality and the domination of instant messaging in all spheres of our lives. Let’s try to understand the intricacies of this problem, seemingly small, but somewhat poisoning the life of recruiters.

Candidate does not answer the call for the first time

Reason 1: We usually don’t answer the phone when unknown numbers call

We are so immersed in phone spam that few people bother to answer calls from unknown numbers. And even more so, no one calls them back. Today, for every one conditionally “normal” phone call, there are at least 20 calls from pollsters, sales representatives, telephone operators or banks with credit offers.

What to do? In such a situation, the best thing to do is to write to the candidate a text message with information about the call and a request for contact. An alternative to a text message may be an e-mail or contact through social networks. Well, such are the times.

Reason 2: The candidate cannot/does not want to answer the phone

The call comes at an inconvenient hour. And since many people have moved to working remotely, sometimes with relatively slow schedules, it’s harder to predict when those inconvenient hours fall. Whereas previously you could start calling applicants after 10 a.m., now even at 11 a.m. a person may be asleep because they worked late in the evening or early in the morning and don’t have to sit in the office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What to do. If it’s a valuable candidate, don’t be afraid to be pushy. At the same time, don’t count on them to call you back in response to a missed call. Ideally, call three times at different times, including morning and evening (but within reasonable limits). In this case, you can also send a text message asking them to contact you.

The candidate doesn’t answer the call even though you have already spoken to each other

You and the candidate have already met, i.e. the first conversation is behind you, and your calls should not be received as spam. However, the applicant is still unreachable for some reason. Why?

Reason 3: He forgot to write down your number

The candidate was distracted, didn’t write down the number right away, and then it was no longer possible to find it among the accumulated spam. And we’re back to the solution for reason #1 – try contacting the candidate through other channels or texting.

Reason #4: The candidate doesn’t want to bother with a rejection

This is called the “new normal.” Choosing between a display of civility and decency and their own convenience, people are increasingly choosing their own convenience: “I don’t want to be embarrassed, I don’t want to explain my reasons for refusing, I don’t want to apologize for not doing something, not coming to a meeting, not sending a test assignment.” It’s easier not to answer the phone – this form of ghosting in professional relationships is not uncommon, unfortunately.

What to do. Again, assess the value of the candidate. If you are committed to working with him or her, try other means of communication. However, if you have your eye on other applicants who have taken your calls in the process, give them priority. You probably don’t want to hire someone who has already proven to be unreliable and irresponsible at the recruitment stage.

main photo: unsplash.com/Rohit TandonHire

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