Want the Candidate to Call you Back? Me too – Take a Number…

I think it’s about time that I shared one of my pet peeves with you. Yep. It’s time.

I’m talking about candidates who ask for advice and counsel from a professional search consultant – spend the time prepping for an interview (we talked about this last week) and then go RADIO SILENT when the consultant calls them after an interview to get their feedback. WHAAAAAT? You heard me. Just take a number and we will call you when we are ready to talk. OUCH! When search consultants invest the time in a search project, they want to work on the assignment to a logical conclusion.  Fair enough right? “Logical” does not mean falling off the radar screen. Too many details get lost in the shuffle as time goes by which is why an interview debrief needs to take place within 24 hours after your interview.  It matters.

Furthermore, when the prospective new employer (client) calls the search consultant to get feedback on how the candidate thought the interview went – it sends a different sort of message when they have to tell them they have not heard from the candidate. For days… Oh NO! Sort of a silent message (maybe-maybe not) that they are not interested. Perception is reality and if you can’t honestly declare a candidate’s interest if you have not heard from them. HELLO – is anybody out there?

C’mon people, pick up the phone!

Keeping a client and your search consultant in the dark after they have called you to discuss an opportunity, presented you as a candidate, prepped you, prepped their client and spent the time on your behalf to help you land a new job is just WRONG. It takes a little courtesy and 10-15 minutes to let your search partner know how things went and to declare your continued interest (OR NOT). If you can’t have the common courtesy to give them a quick call – you probably should not call on them again to help you. The next time you need a job – you should probably call and work with a different search consultant – if you’ve burned the communication bridge.

It’s a no-brainer. Think about it…

About the author


Tim Tolan

Tim Tolan is the Senior Partner of the Healthcare IT and Services Practice of Sanford Rose Associates. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and sales. Tim is also the co-author of "The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition – Finding Talent Your Competitors Overlook," available on Amazon.


  • I agree completely with the points made in your article. Along with this, the same advice holds true for the employer side of it. After working in EMR consulting for five years, I can tell you numerious stories about hospital hiring managers guilty of taking days, sometimes weeks, to respond after an interview, and make a hiring (or not) decision.

    I learned early on in this business, that success depends on FOLLOW UP. Common courtesy, follow up, and follow through are the keys to success, on both sides, candidate and hiring managers.

  • It,s just frustrating on both fronts. Here the real story: In the new HCIT world – employers that continue to STALL in providing feedback to candidates will lose the talent war. It’s just that simple. Days and weeks of waiting for a YES or NO answer is just not that hard. You either need the talent or you don’t. Asking people to put their lives on hold waiting for a response will not work in the new HCIT world. NOPE.
    Thanks for your comments Christine!

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