How many voice mail messages is too many?

I'm about to sound like the spokesmen for the Hairclub for Men. As a recruiter, I'm not just a staffing professional but a potential candidate for other firms looking to hire in more recruiting folks. Don't worry, boss, I'm not looking : )

Anyway, I get the headhunter calls. It could take you about a nanosecond to guess the companies that might like to hire staffing folks away from Microsoft. Anyway, as I have previously mentioned, the holiday time frame is prime for headhunter networking. Their corporate clients may be out of the office but many of the candidates are at home napping and watching reruns of Roseanne (or is that just me?) or working reduced schedules. They may check their e-mail or voice mail, but more than likely things are winding down for them. Plus with the new year coming, perfect time to think about one's career. So the headhunter networking season is upon us.

While I was traveling, I got some headhunter voice mails ("I'm working on a search for so-and-so company"). From one headhunter, in about the past week, I have received no less than eight voice mails (possibly more...I started deleting stuff). Interestingly, it's about an opportunity that another headhunting firm called me about in the past. But that doesn't matter to me. I'll talk to the headhunters (did you see my last post?) when I get my inbox under control.

What do we think about a headhunter that leaves 8 voice mails (some within the same day)? That's a lot of voice mails! Would it make you feel like this company *really* wanted you or that they didn't have enough other people to call? Like I said, I am going to call them back but I'm not sure how I feel about 8 voice mails. Has anyone else received so many calls from a headhunter? Any headhunters out there know what the common practice is?


Comments (10)

  1. Eight calls does seem like a lot. I’d worry about working for a person that called that much. I can imagine him/her calling my cell phone eight times on my day off. Then again, maybe this person is just aggressive in landing you. I guess I’d be flattered in a sense but skeptical at the same time.

  2. patblue says:

    I would tell them on your call back that 8 voicemails makes you view them as desperate or of the stalker mentality and give solid feedback that one or two is usually enough to get your point across :-).  

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Brett- yeah, that is kind of how I feel. I should make clear that it is an agency recruiter calling me.

    patblue-you are all about the feedback! Hah!

  4. tod hilton says:

    "Eight is Enough" or in this case, eight is too much. It just cries out desperation, which isn’t the most attractive of qualities. I think you’re nice to even return their call, I probably wouldn’t.

  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    tod- it’s part of networking, I guess.

  6. Doug Burris says:

    The headhunters’s take.  8 is way more than enough. Our policy is leave 2 voicemals at the most, spread over a couple of days and perhaps 1 email.

    Our thought here is that we are presenting an opportunity, we want to make you aware of it and will ensure we have done everything we can to reach you. After a max of 3 messages (email and voicemail total) we leave you alone.  We may follow up with you later, if another opportunity matches your background, but we will not stalk you.  There is a fine line between being aggressive and being a stalker, so my ex tells me (just kidding…).  

    Headhunters get a bad rap. However, in many instances we earn it by harassing potential candidates.

    What I love are the people who post a resume on monster, cbuilder, etc. then get annoyed when they get contacted by a dozen firms in the 24 hours after they put their resume online…I equate this to getting upset when your giraffe eats the avacado souffle you left on the coffee table, or something like that.

  7. HeatherLeigh says:

    Cute, Doug. Way to work the giraffe in…and the ex. Hee! I would agree with your approach. At some point, you aren’t providing any MORE information, so there’s not really a point in leaving so many messages.

  8. HeatherLeigh says:

    OK, I just checked my voicemail and there’s another one! Do you think she forgets who she leaves messages for and doesn’t realize that she left so many for me?

    I don’t suppose that it would be funny if I called her back after hours and left 9 return voicemails? No? I probably shouldn’t joke. I am sure she is just trying to do her job.

    Hmm, I may call her back today just to find out what the deal is.

  9. BenB says:

    8, now 9, messages is too much. I hate to usurp yours, but I received one message every day to every other day for over a month straight. There was a slight pause, and then it switched to every other day.

    I was not interested, spoke with the recruiter, and still received calls. I stopped counting at 30 and have to admit, I was almost disappointed when they finally stopped.


  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    Ben – no problem, usurp away : ) 30 is the new 9 anyway

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