Talent Acquisition

The 5 Types of Responses Hiring Managers Give to CVs

When you’re a recruiter submitting candidates to your hiring manager for review can be an unnerving experience, especially when the response can be so varied.

You’ve spent days sifting CV’s, sourcing, interviewing and no doubt chasing candidates who seemed to disappear after your initial conversation. Finally getting to those 2 or 3 candidates that you’re certain fit every one of your hiring manager’s many requirements.

But the hiring manager’s response never seems to be as simple as a yes or no. These are the 5 most common replies you can expect as a recruiter.

1. The ignore

It’s not just candidates that can ghost you in the recruitment process. As a recruiter, you’ve got to expect those hiring managers that vanish after you have sent off CVs.

Usually, they are the same hiring managers that call you constantly whilst you are sifting through your candidate pool, repeatedly asking for updates and making certain you are aware how urgent their role is. Then without notification, they disappear.

All of sudden you can no longer get past the receptionist, or you’re always managing to just missed them when you call. Knowing the likelihood of your message getting passed on is slim. You try a follow-up email, a call to their work mobile or even a sneaky read receipt but still nothing. Where the candidate’s not quite right, was the vacancy filled or withdrawn? You’re left not knowing, and then you have to be the bearer of bad news to the candidates but that all comes in a day’s work as a recruiter.

2. The flat out no

There is nothing worse than the flat out no. You were convinced the candidates would be perfect for the role, they fit the bill in all areas and they are actually enthusiastic about the position. What makes the flat no even tougher to take is the hiring manager who gives no explanation.

“They are just not right” or “not what I’m looking for” are common phrases heard by recruiters, statements that definitely don’t help in finding the perfect candidate. You have an inkling that the ideal candidate doesn’t actually exist for this hiring manager but instead, you’re determined to fill the role.

It’s the back and forth with the hiring manager, you defend your candidates but they still aren’t buying. No justification of the candidate’s years of experience, a wealth of skills or extensive qualifications that go beyond the brief seem to matter, the no still stands.

3. The “Can we see some more CVs first?”

You can’t go long working in recruitment before you hear this line. It usually follows a promising conversation about a great candidate you’ve sent them, but the hiring manager has got the fear that something better is out there.

The perfect candidate could be right in front of them but they want to see everyone else, just in case! They want options, they’re indecisive and have the mindset that they should never offer to the first candidate, regardless of how perfect they are.

The hiring manager is sure you can find someone more qualified and more experienced than all the candidates you’ve found so far.

4. The “I like them, but…”

Ever had a conversation with a hiring manager when you’re just waiting for the “but” to appear. It’s going too well to be true and then the hiring manager is suddenly questioning whether the candidate will take a slightly lower salary or can they negotiate on hours, benefits etc.

The hiring manager begins picking apart every aspect of the candidate’s CV. They originally asked for an entry-level candidate but now they are wondering whether it would be better if the candidate was more experienced.

Your candidates are good but the hiring manager wants better. Ideally, they want you to find someone with that candidate’s qualifications but the other candidate’s expertise. You thought you had gone above and beyond with this selection but you need to go one better to please this hiring manager.

5. When can they interview?

There is nothing better than this response, you’re one step closer to filling the role. You’ve aced it and found the best candidates and your hiring manager agrees. The hard work paid off and now it’s just down to coaching the candidates through the interview and securing that offer.

The ideal would be that every booking was this simple, but this is exactly why you spend so much time searching for the best candidates for the job and why you went beyond just sifting applications.

It’s all about the action, getting the candidates booked in as quickly as possible before they’re snapped up by the competition. A good candidate never lasts for long.

Now, you’ve just got to hope that the interviews go off smoothly and the job is done.

By Andrew Fennell

Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter, and founder of CV writing service  StandOut CV. He also contributes to a number of leading career pages such as The Guardian, Business Insider and Huffington Post.