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When is the best time to call the recruiter?

Part of job search includes connecting with recruiters to discuss a specific role or to arrange a meeting. Recruiters spend most of their day interviewing applicants, or meeting with clients, which means that it is often difficult to get hold of them.

In this update, we will explore when is the best time to call and to get hold of a recruiter.

Planning the Call

Before you send your CV and application in for an advertised role, it is always best to try and talk to the recruiter. The purpose of your call is to strive to separate you from all the other applicants. In your cover letter you can also refer to your conversation.

Recruiters would often schedule meetings on an hourly basis with their clients. This is true for more than 90% of all interviews. Just think back, when last did you have an interview at 9.45 a.m. A small minority of interviews would be scheduled at the half hour mark. I guess it is just natural for us to select a logical time and most interviews tend to take about an hour.

When recruiters are not in meetings or interviews, they are on the phone talking to candidates or clients. Your objective is to target the best time to call the recruiter.

Making the Call

Schedule your phone calls for the last fifteen minutes of the hour. Often recruiters would be returning to their desk and be completing their notes after an interview. Your hit rate will dramatically improve!

When you get hold of the recruiter, good phone etiquette is to ask: “Is this a good time to talk, or could I arrange a time to call you back, as I just wanted to ask you a few questions regarding the advertised role."

If you don’t get hold of the recruiter the first time, I usually advise clients not to leave a message, but to try again later. If you are unsuccessful after several attempts, you may want to leave a voice message.

After the Call

As soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after your phone call, you need to follow up with an email. During you conversation try and get the direct email address of the recruiter, so you can ensure your email is not redirected. In your note refer to some specific points by the recruiter and again thank them for taking the time to consider your application, and suggest that a meeting may be ideal to for further discussions.

Travel safely!

Charles van Heerden

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Charles is an HR careers expert with a strong focus on talent management. He has been an HR Director in three countries, a senior line manager and a consultant. Charles holds a degree in Psychology and has completed advanced studies in HR and change management.

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