Tips for communicating effectively with a staffing agencyBy Joan Lloyd
I just read your article about "Working for a Staffing Agency". Your article couldn't have come at a better time, since I'm currently working with a staffing agency to fill an eight month contract position, which also has the potential of becoming a full-time job.
I was getting ready to call my recruiter when your email came in. I'm so glad I decided to read your article before I made the call. Reading your article helped me to confirm that I'm following most of your instructions correctly. It's re-assuring to know, since I've never worked with an agency as a candidate, but as an employer.
I'm writing to hopefully get your expert guidance on how I should proceed with my particular situation.
My first interview went great and I received excellent marks from the supervisor and her team. During the interview, they kept saying how excited they were to have met me and spoke to me as if I already worked there. They went as far to tell the recruiter that they loved me, and that's a direct quote. It was a very exciting interview. My chances looked good.
As I was walking out of the building, after my interview, they stopped me to tell me they had just hired a gentleman who will be the new supervisor. My recruiter misled me to believe the first interview was with my supervisor, since they acted surprised that I was not aware of the hiring of a new supervisor? Part of his employment agreement is to be allowed the time to create his own team, something I can appreciate.
I finally interviewed with the new supervisor. It was another exciting interview; however, I learned he had been laid off from a big competitor of my past employer. I was told that I would bring a lot of maturity to the position and I had what he was looking for. I didn't have the warm fuzzy feeling like the last interview and left feeling unsure of my chances.
During this entire process, my recruiter was very tardy in keeping me posted on things. In the beginning she told me to call her anytime I had a question or concern. I have refrained from calling her, unless a call from her was long overdue. Unfortunately the employer made the comment about how long it took me to show up for the first interview. I explained that I was told when to arrive and I simply followed the recruiter's instructions and made their schedule, my schedule.
Last Friday I called my recruiter twice and still have not heard back from her. At four o'clock last Friday, I called the employer directly. During my first interview, the supervisor had told me to call her directly if I had not heard anything, or if I just wanted to discuss the job.
She told me the new supervisor was now conducting all the interviews and making the final decision. However, she did inform me that my name was still in the mix and I was at the top of the list.
The employer was surprised to learn that I had not been advised of anything. It was apparent she was a little confused as to why I have not been kept in the loop. I defended the recruiter, saying maybe she had called and I didn't get the message for some reason. Maybe my cell phone was acting up. I felt real awkward and hope I didn't do anything wrong?
I don’t have a job and have part-time opportunities I'm passing up, since I don't want to commit to someone else, knowing I might get this full-time job. I know as soon as I take on a part-time job, they will call and I will have to leave someone high and dry. I don't like to burn bridges with anyone.
I'm trying to be patient and know it's out of my control. I've been on the hiring end before and know it can often take weeks to process background checks.
Don't you think a recruiter should call a candidate weekly to keep them in the loop?
Please weigh in on your thoughts, suggestions, or comments on how I should proceed?
It’s time to have a conversation with your recruiter. Without blaming her, explain:
· That you don’t want to pester the employer directly, especially if the recruiter is also calling the employer.
· Also, tell her that you took her advice and called the employer directly, since you have been getting job offers for part-time work and wanted to know the status of the full-time offer. Explain that the employer seemed a little confused about why you didn’t know the status.
· Tell the recruiter that the last thing you want to do is to give the employer the impression you weren’t being kept in the loop.
· Suggest that you both agree on an update schedule. For example, you might want to call her weekly to find out the status.
· Lastly, tell her what your timeframe is. For example, if you feel you must get a job by the end of the month, let her know. Sometimes it will nudge the employer to extend an offer if they fear losing a top candidate.
I can understand why you would like to hold out for the full-time offer, and not leave a part-time job within weeks of getting it. However, your financial situation may dictate that you take one or even two part-time jobs. In the meantime, pursue other jobs aggressively. Waiting around for one employer to make up his mind sets you up for disappointment and lost opportunities.