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I am working with a recruiter to get an out of state job. The company he found gave me 3 interviews, all with positive feedback. Things were moving pretty quickly, the 3 interviews were within a 2 week period, including an in person interview. Now it's been a few days and I've heard nothing. Worst, when I called the recruiter this week, I'm transferred to someone's personal cell who was pretty angry and says they've been getting a lot of calls by people looking for this person.

The manager I met in person gave me his card (Company A), so I was thinking about reaching out to him directly, but I'm not sure if I'll be overstepping my boundaries or coming off as overeager or annoying. There is also another company (Company B) in the same area that wants me to come up for an in-person interview. I've had 2 phone interviews and a skype interview with this company, but I'd like to see where I am in the process before I spend the money on another trip.

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Do you think it is ok to bypass the recruiter? If you were trying to sell a car for your friend and did a lot of work to get that car sold then one of your customer bought the car directly from him how would that sit with you? –  ReallyTiredOfThisGame Jun 26 at 13:31
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A few days of silence isn't the end of the world here. The recruiter should have told you if s/he had planned out of office time. There could be an emergency, also. –  Garrison Neely Jun 26 at 14:54
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Understood, the problem isn't the silence, it's the fact that I'm being transferred to someone who is not affiliated with the company. The person that the operator, and the direct line is connecting me to is a nurse in a different part of the state who is upset that people are calling her looking for this guy that she doesn't know. –  Glenak1911 Jun 26 at 15:16
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@Chad - yes, it's perfectly fine. This is bussines, your sentimentality has no place in here. –  Davor Jun 27 at 10:00
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There's no loyalty to the recruiter.You want the job, it's the recruiters problem for not contacting you/being contactable. In order to appear considerate though, I'd tell the manager when you contact the company directly), that you've been unable to contact the recruiter, and that's why you have come straight to them. Who knows, they might have a correct contact number for the recruiter too. –  user18296 Jun 27 at 12:23

4 Answers 4

up vote 34 down vote accepted
  1. Double check the recruiter's phone number. Are you sure you haven't got it wrong?
  2. Have you tried emailing the recruiter?
  3. Do you have the recruiter's company details? Can you call his office / head office / boss / etc?

If you've tried all of the above, I'd say you'd made a good faith attempt at contacting the recruiter.

If the hiring manager gave you his card, I would say that was an invitation to contact him.

Don't interrupt his day with a phone call - drop a short, professional email explaining that you're eager to hear back from the interview. Explain that you're contacting them directly because the recruiter isn't contactable.

Usually, it's not acceptable to go around a recruiter. In this case, as the recruiter is non-responsive, I think it's acceptable to go direct.

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And if you go direct, explain it to hiring manager. Even if certain recruiter got hit by bus, hiring company has contractual obligations with recruiting company, and if by mistake hiring manager arranged you to be hired/contracted by another recruiting agency, resolving mess could cause you losing that job. –  Peter Masiar Jun 26 at 13:28
    
Thanks for your response Terence. I double checked the number and it was the correct one. I did call the receptionist and ask her to transfer me but to no avail. I also sent him an email yesterday. I email the manager, but since I only sent an email yesterday, I will wait to see if I get a response first. –  Glenak1911 Jun 26 at 13:45
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If you CC the recruiter on the email, I think that this could be seen as an indication of your good faith. The issue isn't talking directly to the company. The issue is trying to cut out the recruiter. –  sixtyfootersdude Jun 26 at 19:20
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“I did call the receptionist and ask her to transfer me but to no avail.” Did you ask her whether your recruiter still works at this recruitment agency, and/or if she could ask him about his phone-forwarding issue? –  Paul D. Waite Jun 27 at 12:09

If you can't contact the recruiter, there's a chance that the hiring manager can't get in touch with him either. In normal situations, trying to go around the recruiter is a definite no-no, as it shows bad faith both on you and on the part of the company toward the recruiter. In situations where you cannot contact the recruiter, I would take the following steps:

  1. Try contacting the recruiter again
  2. Try contacting the recruiting company
  3. Consider sending an e-mail to both the recruiting company and the hiring manager relaying the situation

Contact the recruiter again

If you can't get in touch with the recruiter by phone, try e-mail. Try calling the office and getting transferred. Try any means that you have to get in touch with him directly. Most professionals who have time-sensitive jobs will have an auto-reply if they're out for some reason or another, or the office can let you know if they've been hit by a bus, left the company, or something else.

If you cannot get in touch with the recruiter, or anyone else who knows the status of your application with this company, I would suggest taking the next step.

Contact the Recruiting Company

Assuming this isn't a one-man operation, there should be other people at the company. Try to get in touch with the boss of the recruiter you were working with, and do your best to explain the situation. It is possible that the recruiter quit unexpectedly, or didn't tell people what the status was prior to going on a vacation to Borneo, or has been out with the martian death flu and nobody is quite sure what the status of all his responsibilities are.

If you cannot get in touch with someone in a position of responsibility within the organization, or you are otherwise not given an answer that indicates that they are on top of the situation, then move on to the next step.

Consider Contacting the Hiring Manager

Chances are the hiring manager has enough information on you to contact you if needed. If you have added your e-mail, phone number, web site (with a contact form), or anything else on your resume or application, then they can get in touch with you. Chances are that if you haven't been gotten in touch with there are one of two reasons:

  1. They haven't made their decision yet
  2. They are in touch with the recruiter even if you aren't

If for some reason you strongly think that they have no way of getting in touch with you, and they have made their decision (for instance, you were told during the interview that they will definitely give you an offer by date X, and it is past date X), then you may want to consider contacting the hiring manager by e-mail. Let him know:

  1. You were unable to get in touch with the recruiter
  2. Attempts to find out the status through the recruiting company were unsuccessful
  3. You are not trying to circumvent the recruiter, but just want to make sure that your contact details are available to the hiring manager just in case

I would CC the recruiter, and the recruiting company manager you spoke to so that everyone is exactly clear about what is going on. If you do this, bear in mind that this will make the recruiter look like they are not doing their job, and that the recruiting company is not managing the process well. And that probably isn't a great thing to do if you are going through the recruiter for other positions, or if you have some connection that recruiter through your current job. And making the recruiter look bad also implies that the company who is using the recruiter made a poor decision, which also probably won't look good for you.

So if you do decide to send the e-mail, be very certain that you aren't just jumping the gun and pestering the hiring manager before they've had time to make a final decision.

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Thanks @Jmac, I will follow your suggestion. I will try to find out if he quit unexpectedly or what the situation is. I've had a few phone interviews so I'm sure they have my number and resume. The last thing I want is to be a pest, but given the fact that his phone number from his direct line, as well as being transferred from the operator of the company sends me to a completely differnt person in a completely different place not affiliated with the company is my biggest concern. –  Glenak1911 Jun 26 at 14:43
  1. The manager gave you his card. It's basically a green light to call or email him. I'd say, make a point of telling him that you are asking him about status because you couldn't get in touch with the recruiter, though.

  2. Do take into account that the interview process takes some time to run its course. In my case, as hiring manager, I had to go over my notes, compare notes with team, and decide on a first choice and a second choice. Sometimes, the first choice would ask for extra time and then turn us down. At which point, we'd make an offer to prospect No.2 Those occasions were the choices were so clear cut that we could make an offer within 24 to 48 hours were few and far between. It would usually take us one or two weeks for us to make an offer - Keep in mind that interviewing is not the only thing we do all day.

  3. Given this context, don't call us merely because you are impatient. If you don't stand out from the other candidates, we won't take your interruption of our workday well. Emailing us is more acceptable and more considerate because we can ignore your email until we have enough of a break in our activities to get back to you, even if it is to write back that the hiring process is still ongoing. From your point of view as candidate, follow @jmac's advice about making sure that you cc: the recruiter in all of your email communications with the hiring manager - you are taking the initiative and contacting the hiring manager but you are not bypassing anyone including the recruiter.

  4. I suggest that you go ahead and start interviewing with the other company, because there is no guarantee that the first company is coming back with an offer, and you might like the second company more than the first.

Note:

I understand from your comments on my answer that your situation is exceptional and pretty atrocious:

  1. You were able to use the same telno to contact your recruiter until the day you couldn't. The company's main line looks live but the same extension is now a forward to that cell phone with the angry individual who apparently has no affiliation with the recruiter's company.

  2. I suggested to you that you ask the receptionist that she transfer you to someone - anyone, who is in management at the company. I suggested that if the receptionist can't make it happen, the hiring manager is pretty much the only contact option you have left and that you need to get in touch with the hiring manager ASAP.

  3. It is possible that the recruiter's company went out of business, that the receptionist works for an answering service and is giving you the only number she knows. Given this possibility is very real, you need to contact the hiring manager as you have no other choice.

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Vietnhi, it seems like you may be answering a different question than asked. The asker has been trying to contact the recruiter, not the hiring manager, and hasn't been able to get in touch with him. The recruiter definitely isn't the one comparing notes or making decisions, and if the recruiter is out of touch without a reason, there is a possibility that they are out of touch with the hiring manager too. This isn't pestering someone about a decision, it's making sure that the recruiter's absence isn't causing an issue by preventing necessary communication. –  jmac Jun 26 at 13:36
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I still think you totally missed the point of the question. The asker is not trying to pester anyone, they are wondering what the heck he should do if he can't get in touch with the recruiter after having multiple successful interviews with a company the recruiter introduced him to. He tried calling, with no luck, and is wondering if the only choice left open to him (directly contacting the hiring manager) given the situation is an absolute no. This isn't about hurrying anyone to make a decision, but rather a 100% logistical concern. –  jmac Jun 26 at 14:09
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@Glenak It's absolutely critical at this point that you contact the hiring manager, as he is your last living witness. While the hiring process can run its course, you need to find from him in the meantime who are the appropriate set of contacts. This is an exceptional circumstance. –  Vietnhi Phuvan Jun 26 at 15:43
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@Glenak Ask for someone in management at the recruiting company. If you still fail, then it's "Hello, Hiring Manager!" as you have no other alternative :) –  Vietnhi Phuvan Jun 26 at 16:40
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"@jamac I think (wrongly?) that I was pretty clear" - this would be an awesome answer to a question on passive aggressiveness :) –  Robert Grant Jun 27 at 9:52

Simple answer. Yes it's fine. It's not fair if the recruiter is cut out and doesn't get paid, so keep everyone in the loop.

It's not unheard of for recruiters to exclude candidates and push others for their own benefit, so contact the company to ensure that they are being told the correct information regarding your position.

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