Do recruiters blacklist candidates?

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little black bookIf you have been working with a recruiter(s) and suddenly find yourself not getting your calls or emails returned, you might be wondering if you’ve been blacklisted by them.

The truth is that some recruiters – like other people in your life I’m sure – are good at returning calls and emails and others aren’t. Many recruiters will only contact you when they have a job to discuss with you. Remember that recruiters get paid by the hiring company not by the candidate so if they have no job to discuss with you, they have no financial reason to speak with you. That’s the cold reality of the recruitment business.

Certainly it makes sense to keep in touch with recruiters and as a recruiter I feel that it’s good to keep in touch with good candidates – with emphasis on the word good. I’m referring to job searchers that the recruiter can place in a job with one of their clients – to see what they’re up to from time to time whether or not I have to job to discuss with them.

Not all recruiters feel this way though. Many will just call you or give you some time when they have a job for you and that’s it.

There are however some reasons why you may have essentially been blacklisted by one or more recruiters and here are some of the popular ones:

1. You’ve interviewed for one or more jobs with their clients and haven’t gotten a job offer from them. In other words, you probably did something during the interview that you aren’t aware of or you simply did poorly in the interview(s) and the recruiter doesn’t see value with working with you anymore. Remember, the recruiter gets paid if they help you get a job with one of their clients. No job for you, no money for the recruiter.

2. You don’t stop harrassing them. If you frequently call and/or email a recruiter and they keep trying to blow you off, you might not have gotten the message and so the recruiter simply stops working with you because you’re too high maintenance. I’ve had a few people who just won’t stop calling me and I end up not working with them as a result.

3. You’re not honest. A few times, I’ve caught a job searcher in a lie (ie. they lied about their skills, current salary, work status, why they left their last job, etc) and once the truth comes out, sometimes the lie is too big to ignore and the recruiter simply decides not to work with you anymore.

4. You’re not as good as your resume would suggest. As per point #3, sometimes people aren’t honest but in other instances they’re simply not that good. Sometimes you read someone’s resume, interview them and think that they are a good candidate but it isn’t until they hit the interview process that they get exposed by the hiring manager as a weak candidate. Often their resume makes them look better than what they actually are and when the person gets exposed as a weak candidate (or a dishonest one who embellishes their experience), it looks bad on the recruiter who most likely won’t want to make a mistake with that same person twice.

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