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The search firm is unresponsive. Any tips?

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

Question: “Somer, I had multiple interviews last week. I was told to expect a decision by now. No news. There has been no communication from the search firm. Is this normal? Any tips on how to navigate this phase?” ~CTO


That's frustrating

And unacceptable.

There are a few reasons for this happening. It’s important to know what situation you’re dealing with. How you act now is critical.

  1. The search firm hasn’t received feedback, or not enough to warrant reaching out to you.

  2. There has been a change in direction that the company isn't able to share with you. For example: the hiring manager gave notice, an organizational change, or a pending acquisition or merger.

  3. You’re the number two candidate and the search firm is unclear what message to relay, wanting to keep you in process in case their top candidate declines.

  4. The company decided to pass. The search firm is focused on driving revenue, which takes priority over candidate communication.

Clearly the last two are unacceptable reasons for no communication, but it's important to know that it happens.

My advice:

Most search firms have scheduled client calls. Find out when they are next speaking with the client and schedule a call for the next day. Tone is hard to judge in email. Always ask for a time to connect vs simply asking for an email update. This way you'll get more of the story.

If you're still lacking feedback, ask bold questions. Instead of "Hey, I'm just checking in. Any news?" nudge a silent recruiter into a response with a bolder statement. "Hi, it's been a week since my interview. Is it safe to assume the company decided to go with another candidate?" That email will get a reply. Stay sane. It’s not you. Interviewing is an emotional process. The best way to get your mind off it: interview elsewhere. Activate your search. Now is the time. If you’re going to make a move, you want to ensure it’s the right one.

See the original LinkedIn post here.


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