So you’ve applied for a job/had an interview and you want to follow up on your application over the phone. Yes, people still do that in 2021! Even though, I'd rather brush my teeth with a rusty metal brush that pick up the phone if I don't have to, sometimes, you've got to do what you've got to do.
Ideally, the best time to call a recruiter would be when you have time. However, that may not necessarily be the best time to actually get through to the recruiter. Keep in mind that recruiters are people (yes, I promise) and that outside of working hours, they can usually be found... not working (crazy, I know!).
When it comes to getting through to your recruiter on the phone, whether they are an in-house recruiter or an agency recruiter will make a huge difference to their availability and accessibility.
The recruiter works directly for the company:
In-house recruiters spend longer on the phone (usually 20-30 minutes at a time), but they tend to schedule their calls. Try to think about when it would be easier for you to take a call - probably late morning, early afternoon and late afternoon, right? These are the times most in-house recruiters will have their calls scheduled for. Therefore, it’s probably not a good time to attempt to call them.
Another thing to consider is that recruiter interviews are usually scheduled at easy to remember times, such as 9:00 or 9:30am, and they last 20-30 minutes on average. So if you tried calling the recruiter at 9:15, give it another go at 9:25 or at 9:35 (assuming they’re not in back to back calls). If you’ve tried at both of these times but didn’t get through, your best bet might be to follow up with an email.
The recruiter works in a recruitment agency:
The interviews agency recruiters conduct are normally shorter, but they meet with candidates face to face, so it’s harder to find patterns in their schedule. They do tend to stay after 6pm though, to call these hard to reach candidates, so it gives you a bit more time to try and catch them on the phone.
The good thing is that an agency recruiter’s phone usually transfers you to someone else in their team when they’re busy. So don’t be afraid to ask if they know when your recruiter will be available or to leave your name, and contact number. Make sure to spell your name to that person and to repeat your phone number. You wouldn’t want your message to be ignored because the recruiter couldn’t find you in their database, right?
A side note on leaving voicemails to recruiters.
I know very few recruiters who are good at listening to their voicemails. In fact, I’ll raise my hand and say I’m guilty of ignoring my own voicemails and when I do listen to them, a good 70% of the time, I don’t have time to write down the number that was given or didn’t understand the name of the person, so I don’t call back. Eeeeek, that’s bad.