Recruitment Story: Networking Skills That Pay

Rec story 3


We live in an unimaginably connected world. It truly feels like a small world at times. But how many of us are actually mindful about our connections? Of course, it is not possible to know how and to whom you are connected without some sort of communication and revelation. You cannot know your sister goes to a school where your friend’s cousin is her classmate, unless someone tells you about it. You cannot know a client of yours knows a candidate you placed in a different firm ten years ago, unless you see them as mutual connections on social media.

And sometimes, connections pay- literally and figuratively. The impetus networking skills have gained over the years is the proof. Networking, making connections is an important task. LinkedIn wouldn’t be so important otherwise.

Moreover, it is a greater skill to make use of that networking and connections, at the right time.

We are back with a recruitment story, this time, with the theme of the importance of making right and timely use of your networks.

One of our Team Leaders was in touch with a candidate who had been selected for a senior position at a particular company abroad. The candidate, let us call him Mr. X, was having a hard time getting his resignation accepted at his then current job. Seeing no other alternative, he ghosted that company. He left, just like that.

He not only ghosted the company he was then working at, but also the company he was supposed to join.

So now, the client company was left hanging. The candidate had also met the management once, and they were sure he would join once his notice period came to an end.

The client told our Team Leader about the issue.

The Team Leader’s calls, messages, emails went unanswered, unreachable too.

A classic case of ghosting had unfolded! What to do now, we wondered.

The Team Leader explored her networks. She browsed LinkedIn incessantly to find some common connection, some person, maybe who lived in the same country, city as Mr. X. She started looking for people who might be even remotely connected in any way to him.

She found out one connection, someone she knew, let us call him Mr. Y. Apparently, he and Mr. X  both were employees in one company at some point of time, but in different countries. The timings of their tenure matched, but could it be possible that Y would know X? Probably no, probably yes.

Besides, she had contacted a former colleague of Mr. X, and he had the same contact information. What are the odds that this Mr. Y would have anything new to say?

At such times, it becomes important to rely on your guesswork, and take chances.

Our Team Leader anyway contacted Mr. Y, and eventually asked him if he knew Mr. X.

Turns out, they were in fact, good friends. What’s more, Mr. Y said he had talked to Mr. X  just recently. They were in touch!

Our Team Leader talked about the issue to Mr. Y. He said he wouldn’t be able to give her Mr. X’s new contact information but he will communicate the issue to him, and will tell him to give a call.

There was no call for some time though. The Team Leader waited.

Finally, Mr. X called. The ghost had been found!

He communicated the problem he was facing with his resignation to our Team Leader. He also told her that there was a health emergency in his family, and he wouldn’t be able to join the client company at the date that had been decided. The Team Leader understood his predicament, and communicated this to the client company.

Eventually, the issues were sorted, he attended to the health emergency well. He attended the training sessions but as per his requirement, his joining date was extended.

What are the lessons to learn here?

Firstly, the Team Leader’s perseverance and resourcefulness.

She made full use of LinkedIn. Many of us ignore the tools we have at hand.

How many of us have that presence of mind? It is important to know where to look, and whom to ask. Knowledge-acquisition process would become haphazard if we didn’t know these basic questions.  And she kept looking despite failure at the first connection.

The Team Leader also took a chance. She didn’t dismiss any trace of a link. It is truly necessary to be open to possibilities. We should know that one really never knows.

These qualities, and the commitment helped her retain a long-term client, a very important thing in the recruitment industry. And most importantly, communication played a major role. To find solution(s) to any problem, one needs to know that there is a problem in the first place.

This is one recruitment story where making the right use of technological resources, networking, and communication skills made a difference. Kudos to Mrs. Rina Arun, the Team Leader in the story!

The Haunting No Recruiter Likes

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Imagine someone agreed to come visit your house. You prepare delicious food for them, change your routine for the day, tell your family members about them, and even they tweak their routines a bit. The guest does not show up. You try to call them up, leave messages but there is no reply of any sort. You get worried, anxious, frustrated and somewhat angry at the same time. This, in a nutshell, is ‘ghosting’ in a domestic terminology.

 Now imagine something like this happening in a professional setting. Whether a recruiter believes in ghosts or not, chances are he or she would definitely encounter the phenomenon of ghosting. A ‘ghost’ is any candidate who commits and then disappears often cutting off all contact abruptly.

 Ghosting could occur at any stage. A candidate may agree to show up for interview but when the day of the interview comes, there is no sign.

 A candidate may show up for the interview, ace it, cheerfully agree to all the conditions, and then doesn’t show up on the day of joining the company. Some candidates even clear the formalities and paperwork. Even health check-ups are cleared wherever there’s a requirement. And still there are chances that the candidate just won’t show up at the job. There have been instances when flight tickets were booked by candidates but even those weren’t used!

 Recruiters all over the world would have stories to tell when they received calls from various companies just ‘ghosted’ by the candidates the recruiters had roped in. Or when they got worried about a candidate’s health and safety.

Companies often have to resort to guesswork when ‘ghosting’ takes place. Calls, messages go unreturned. Sometimes even contact numbers are changed, or phones are switched off. Emails go unanswered. Instead of formally quitting, the candidate just stops showing up at the job.


Trends are changing in job applying processes. At one point in time, people often used to covet a particular job. At other times, there was also a trend to scan the ‘Classified’ sections of newspapers and apply for a couple of jobs which interested the candidate. Chances are, not all of them would lead to interview call-ups.

Moreover, at one point, companies used to ‘ghost’ candidates after interviews. Only those who progressed to the next round were communicated about the later processes. But now, things have reversed.

Many people apply at multiple places just for the sake of applying. Each new offer is seen as a potential step up, a better opportunity. The scanning process never stops, it seems.

Ghosting is a phenomenon which most of us engage in various aspects of our lives. Things have to be “understood.” People in general would like to avoid confrontations, awkwardness and conflict, and saying ‘no’ or formally quitting could very well lead to all of that. But what makes ghosting at a professional level a hot button topic is the signing of a contract, which entails a commitment. Ghosting after committing is the issue. When a candidate leaves without a formal notice the recruitment process has to then be started all over again, with the company and the recruiters bearing all the costs.

 ‘No’ Problem:

It’s not wrong to apply at multiple places. Multiple job offers are not a bad thing. And it’s only logical that candidates cannot accept all the job offers they get.

(Emergencies and crises come unannounced, and those are exceptions to the case. )

 How to go about with the need to reply in the negative is a huge task for some, especially those who are more on the socially awkward side.

And chances are, candidates have to put up their best behaviour in all circumstances. How to say ‘no’ then, without appearing rude or unprofessional is the question. And someone has to be told ‘No.’

That precisely is the problem: candidates don’t even say no.

An absence of response has come to be equated with saying ‘No.’ An absence of response has come to be considered a response in itself.

 What is the answer here then? How to go about as not to ‘ghost’ recruiters?

 As basic as it can get: communicate.  Whatever is the scenario, say so. If you are probably going to say no, make it clear. If you need to drop out for some reason midway through the process, talk about it, no matter how awkward the conversation might be.

A moment of awkwardness on an interpersonal level can often save hours of anxiety and frustration on an official level.