It’s not cool to be a Job Seeker Stalker

Ange Connor

It is a fine line between demonstrating your interest and enthusiasm in a job and becoming an annoying stalker. And believe me, I have come across many job seeker stalkers in my time in recruitment! A job seeker stalker is someone who goes too far with the follow up, whether it be with a recruiter with whom they have registered seeking work or for a specific position they have applied for. To start with your follows calls and emails, even popping in to the office seem normal; I’m thinking that’s impressive this job seeker is definitely interested, eager, enthusiastic and motivated to get this job or be contacted about upcoming jobs and doesn’t want to be overlooked. But it can quickly turn to this job seeker is annoying, doesn’t listen to information provided regarding timelines, is full on, is pushy, is obsessive and is a serial stalker!

I encourage every job seeker to demonstrate their interest in a role and to follow up. You should always call and enquire about a job and you have every right to call throughout the recruitment process to get an update on how the recruitment process and your application is progressing. Or if you’ve registered with an agency to find work, it is ok to follow up and keep them updated on where your job search is at. That level of follow up is normal.

So when does too much follow up make you a stalker?

Contacting the recruiter daily or multiple times a day, even every couple of days in some instances is starting to push the limits. Then you start popping in to their office because you were just passing by (of course!) and thought you’d stop in and say hello to see if there were any updates; or you start sending multiple emails with questions or updates that really could have and should have been all in the one email from the start. The tone of your communication either via phone or email gets more desperate and pushy every time to make contact.

The most important thing to remember when deciding when and how often to follow up is to ask the right questions, listen to the information you are being given and set the scene.

Here are some great questions to ask to get the information you need or statements to make to set expectations that will in turn drive your follow up:

  • I see applications for this position close on 25th February, what is the anticipated timeline for the recruitment process from there?
  • When do you expect to conduct interviews for this position?
  • If I haven’t heard from you by that date, I’ll follow up with a phone call Mr Recruiter, as this position really is of great interest to me
  • How does your agency work? How often do I need to follow up with you; weekly, fortnightly, monthly, to let you know I’m still looking for work or if my circumstances have changed?
  • What’s the best way for us to communicate; via phone, email?
  • How often do the types of positions I’m looking for come up with your agency? (If they come up daily then clearly your communication is going to be a lot more frequent but if positions like what you’re are chasing come up once a year your communication will need to be a lot less frequent)

By asking the right questions you’ll get an indication of the timeline and key dates that will then drive your follow up. It’s then easier to kick that follow up off with “Hi Mr Recruiter last time we spoke you indicated that you would have completed the initial shortlisting for this position by yesterday, I haven’t heard from you, how is my application progressing?” Much more professional than calling every day and simply asking up another update.

Don’t forget communication is a two way street. If you are asking the right questions of the recruiter, either agency or an internal recruiter, and you aren’t getting clear responses, the feedback you want or you’re not getting any response at all maybe you need to ask yourself the question: Is this a company I want to work for or is this an agency that I want representing me?

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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