Followup for a job I didn't get
I'm casually looking for a new job. Not in any rush, as I have a perfectly good position, but I'm open to landing something that really is perfect for me and I'm willing to wait for that position.
Last month, I was approached by a recruiter about a job that looked quite interesting. They set me up with a hiring manager and we hit it off on a call. That progressed to another round of discussions with additional people at the company and increased my excitement about the job, and apparently their excitement about me in that job. There was a third round where I spoke to even more people at the company culminating in a discussion with the hiring manager that delved more specifically into the details of me joining from start dates to compensation. I expressed my excitement about the job. They said they would be discussing me the next day, and I thought everything looked great. The recruiter was very involved the entire process (which was over 20 hours of interviews at this point) checking in daily to hear my thoughts.
And then nothing. Not from the company and not from the recruiter. What was previously a very open and fast moving conversation all around just ceased. I eventually managed to get on the phone with the recruiter about a week later who told me only that they went with another candidate. Follow up emails to the recruiter to try to understand where I fell short were not returned, and no contact with the hiring manager post interview.
Now, that's fine. I get that's part of the process and I wasn't guaranteed a job. But, I guess I sort of expected some feedback considering the time investment involved at that point, and such feedback could really help me out.
Is it acceptable to contact the hiring manager and ask in some general terms where I came up short, or does that look odd? Is that something that the recruiter should have helped out with? Is this a recruiter I should avoid in the future, or is this normal practice? Just let it go and move on?
First let me note that you have the right attitude. It is what it is. The recruiter should have given you feedback. Quite often the hiring manager assumes that the recruiter will provide the feedback and then close the engagement.
It serves no harm to write the hiring managers. Just write something to the tune of thanking them for thier time - and just short statement noting that you're sorry that you were not a fit, but remain excited and interested should a future opportunity the the teams arises. (that way they are reminded you still exist and you're interested). Then you make a request for some feedback that would help prepare you for future interviews and opportunities and/or support you in your job search. - no hiring manager should decline such request.
Something nice and simple you can note that the recruiter did not provide you any feed back - so that they are aware no discussion or closure was had.
I wish you luck and you know, no harm really. These days - take the view that competition is not the best. And few will make it through rounds of interviews, take solice that you're kinda already are a talent and the reason you were rejected is not so important or big to completely disqualify you from future opps. It has happened to me and you know what? Lots of times, it happened so that somebody remembered me down the road, and gave me a call for another interview for another role. You never know.
And on the upside, you're in the right spot for a job seeking point of view. Passive, no rush, that puts you in prime spot to find the right opportunity for you. So all good.
Thanks. I took your advice and emailed the hiring manager just to express appreciation, without even asking for feedback. Heard back immediately with some feedback that not only was useful, but I also happen to agree with.
Still have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth about the recruiter, but I feel better about the whole thing.