Why Hasn’t My Headhunter Called Me Back?



It’s a major frustration for jobseekers. You think you’re in line for a great job. You’ve polished your resume and social media profiles until they sparkle. You’ve either spoken to or met with your recruiter and he or she said you look like a good fit for the position.

Then nothing…silence. No phone call. No email. 

Waiting for Headhunter to Call

You wait and wait – a few days go past – and still no word. Maybe you send off an inquiring email or two – or pick up the phone and leave a couple of messages. Still no reply.

And you think “What’s up? How can headhunters be so inconsiderate – don’t they realize I’m on pins and needles waiting to hear something?”

Here’s five reasons why you might not have heard a word.

  • Little details make the difference.

You may meet the qualifications indicated in the job description, but there may be additional qualities than an employer is looking for that you may not know about. For example, maybe for the first round of interviews they only want to see people who’ve got direct experience in a given industry or have worked for a particular company. Or employers are looking for someone with a specific skill set in addition to what’s listed.

  • The job description has changed.

During the job search process, it’s not uncommon for employers to modify or change their criteria as they re-evaluate what they’re looking for. One recruiting firm had a client that rewrote a job description eight times before the firm was able to send any suitable candidates in for an interview.

  • We’ll call you if there’s a fit.

As Toronto-based recruiters, IQ Partners receives thousands of resumes each week. We review all of them and screen candidates to see if they’re suitable for any positions we’re looking to fill. We always look to satisfy our clients’ needs by introducing them to employees that will be genuine assets to their organization. However, beyond an email auto reply thanking you for submitting your resume online, unfortunately we can’t follow up with everyone for an interview unless there is a potential fit.

  • It’s often a matter of timing.

Just as in life, being in the right place at the right time can make all the difference. Throughout the entire job search process we are actively looking for the right candidate for our clients, the employers. We may be presenting a number of different candidates to them over a period of time. If they land on someone they’re happy with, they may decide to stop interviewing. They may put their search on hold and not fill the position for the time being or they may have secured someone internally for the role.

  • No news is no news.

If you haven’t heard from us, it’s often because we have nothing to update you on. In many cases, we’re waiting to hear something, too. Our client’s HR person or hiring manager may be busy or away. They may be working through their own internal channels to set up interviews that fit into the busy schedules of executives. Any number of things can be happening behind the scenes that could delay the process.

When we have no news from the client, we have nothing to share. But just trust that if we’ve got news for you, you’ll hear from us!

For what to say when a headhunter does contact you, check out our post What To Say (And NOT To Say) When A Headhunter Calls.

IQ PARTNERS are Toronto-based recruiters and leaders in executive search with over 11 years experience connecting smart people and great companies. We specialize in mid to senior level recruitment in a variety of sectors including Marketing, Sales, IT, Operations, Legal, Finance and more. To view current job opportunities and register with us, visit our Current Job Opportunities page. If you need to hire better, hire less and retain more, visit our Find  A Toronto Recruiter page.