Working with a recruiter can be a great move for your career! Recruiters are basically professional matchmakers who scout qualified talent for companies, who are their clients. They'll put you in touch with hiring managers with whom they think you could be a good fit — and you don't ever have to pay them (the company does)!
If you work with a recruiter, you'd expect them to be professional and actually deliver. When they reach out with you to set up a time to talk over the phone, of course, you expect that they'll actually call when they say they will. After all, you've carved out time in your busy life to chat with them about the opportunities at hand.
So what happens if the recruiter doesn't actually call on time — or at all? How are you supposed to get in touch with them, or do you even try to get in touch with them?
If your recruiter doesn't call when they say they will, it may be because they forgot or because they got busy. The reality is that we're all only human; and, sometimes, life happens. So be patient and follow up.
What steps can you take if the recruiter doesn't call on time?
Here are some simple steps you can take if the recruiter with whom you're working doesn't call when they say they will.
1. Double-check your email to confirm the time (and timezone) of the call.
First and foremost, double-check the email exchange you have with this recruiter to make sure that you have the correct time. If the call was set for 3 p.m., also make sure that your 3 p.m. is the same as their 3 p.m. — they may be in another timezone and, if so, you should find out. You can do a quick search on their LinkedIn and other online profiles to see if you can determine where in the world they are based. You might also be able to find this information by checking their company's website to see where it's headquartered.
2. Double-check the phone number you've provided the recruiter.
After you've confirmed that you have the right time, then double-check the phone number that you've provided the recruiter. Make sure that you wrote your phone number correctly so that, when they do call you, they have the right number to reach you. After all, you don't want them calling and calling and end up missing their call because you made a typo. Then they'll be wondering where you are, too.
3. Give the recruiter a grace period to call.
Give the recruiter a few minutes to call you. If the call was scheduled for 1 p.m. and they haven't yet called by 1:05 p.m., they may still be gathering their materials and supporting documents for the call. They may be stuck in a meeting that ran a few minutes over. Or they might just be pulling up your email right now to grab your phone number and give you a ring. It's best to wait about 15 minutes to see if the recruiter is going to call you at the scheduled time or not — that's a generous grace period that you can stick around and wait by your phone.
4. Send a follow-up email to check in with the recruiter.
If your recruiter doesn't call after the grace period that you've given them, you shouldn't necessarily call them yourself. What you can do, however, is send a check-in email to follow up with them and inquire about their status. You can send something as simple as this:
"Hi [Recruiter Name],
I'm just reaching out to check in about our call, scheduled for 1 p.m. EST today. I wanted to confirm that you still have time to jump on the phone this afternoon. Please let me know if now is still a good time for you or if you'll need to reschedule. I am available for [however much longer you can wait around].
5. Schedule a new time of the call with your recruiter.
If your recruiter never calls or replies to your check-in email saying that something came up and they can no longer speak, you can send an additional follow-up email to reschedule a new time to jump on the phone with them. If they never respond, simply send a second email later in the day expressing your interest in rescheduling a rain check. If they respond to your initial check-in saying that they can no longer speak that day, it's likely that they'll have already suggested another time for a rain check. Now it's up to you to determine whether or not that new time works for you. If it does, that's great; if it doesn't, you're welcome to throw some different dates and times out there.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.