My favorite answer to everything — ‘it depends.’
The situation might come up that you are using a recruiter to get a job. Good. That’s what they are paid to do, and many are pretty good at it.
However, sometimes a recruiter won’t get you where you are trying to go. Maybe you gather some intel from the recruiters — like the hiring managers name and company organization structure — but then the recruiter isn’t able to get you an interview. Bummer.
What do you do then?
Generally the reason you are going to use a recruiter is because they have a strong relationship with the company, which means they can get your foot in the door.
They are on a first-name basis with the hiring manager, play golf on the weekends, and maybe they’ve even been to a couple of strip clubs together. And if they’re really good their families hang out together.
They have hired people for the company before. They have built up teams for them and their relationship goes way back. They know how to prepare you for an interview and what kind of curve balls might be thrown your way and can give you invaluable advice into the companies structure and pain points.
That kind of great advice is hard to beat.
But if that’s not the case and if there’s a good reason for you to do it, then by all means go for it. Go around the recruiter.
Let’s explore this. What would constitute a good reason?
#1 The Recruiter has gone MIA
If you can no longer get ahold of the recruiter and they aren’t responding to your emails or phone calls, then take matters into your own hands.
Basically if this happens it means that recruiters are being little whiney babies. They get overwhelmed and don’t check their inboxes.
Or sometimes people get busy so give it a few days…Chill out, dude.
But if they have completely disappeared from the face of this planet then you’re not going to wait around.
Go for it.
#2 No feedback
Let’s say you are interested in the company they mentioned and they agree to submit your application.
Days go by. Then weeks.
If the recruiter cannot get feedback for you, it usually means that they don’t have a strong enough relationship with the company.
Of course the hiring manager/HR can be quite busy so it’s not totally the recruiters fault.
Bu what makes you think that you’ll get a response from the company and do any better than the recruiter?
I mean maybe you could, but usually not.
At this stage if you try and go around the recruiter then you run the risk of damaging your relationship with them.
What would make sense is a dual approach, which I have encouraged to candidates before (yes, really) when I was a recruiter. I’d say, ‘Look, John, I’ve reached out to the hiring manager X number of times but he is not responsive. Why don’t you message him on Linkedin and see if he gets back to you?’
This way both of us are trying to get a hold of the person. If the hiring manager gets back to you then you can find out what is going on. Maybe they don’t like the recruiter, or maybe they have legitimately been busy.
As the recruiter has gotten you this far and has been trying to help you out, I would give back ownership to the recruiter and say something like “Thanks for getting back to me about the job. My recruiter Bob was the one that actually told me about the job opportunity, so he can coordinate the meeting..” blah blah.
#3 They are Smoking Crack
No, not literally. I mean if they are being jerks to you and you’ve had a very poor experience dealing with them, then you don’t have to stand for it. Don’t “bite the bullet” — no one is forcing you to deal with assholes.
Tell him to get off the crack pipe and then contact the hiring manager directly if you feel you have a truly valuable skill that you can bring to the company.
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