Do Recruiters Call on Weekends?

Let’s face it, the recruitment process while job searching can be intimidating. As candidates, we stress over when we will get a call back from recruiters and may find ourselves pondering whether weekends fall into the days in which a recruiter might call us.

Do recruiters call on weekends? In short, the answer is yes, recruiters do sometimes call candidates on weekends. Whether or not they will, however, is entirely dependent on the recruiter.

The answer to this question is not as cut and dry as us job-seekers might want it to be. Just because some recruiters may call on weekends, does not ultimately mean they will. It’s great for us to be aware of the possibility that we may receive the call we’re anxiously waiting for on a Saturday or Sunday, but it’s vital to remember that it is the recruiters’ job to get in touch with us.

When a Recruiter Calls on The Weekend

When a company needs employees, their external recruiters, interviewers and HR department may have to put in overtime. Therefore, the possibility remains that candidates may be contacted outside of the typical work week, and potentially outside of typical workday hours by recruiters.

If a recruiter tells you they’ll contact you within a certain time frame, and that window of time falls within a weekend, but you don’t hear from them, don’t panic! Just because some recruiters do place calls on weekends, doesn’t mean they always will. They’re people just like you and me, with lives, families, friends, and schedules to maintain.

While the candidate selection process is at the forefront of the job-seekers’ mind, it likely isn’t the top priority of the employer’s organization. Don’t get me wrong, it is an important process, and recruiters know this, but it can generally wait one or two days if pressing issues arise within the company that takes precedence over on-boarding new employees (Source). 

Additionally, we aren’t the only people on a recruiter’s list of people to contact, and recruiting/ interviewing might only be one aspect of a recruiter’s job in the HR department. Keep these considerations in mind while patiently waiting for your call back.

In light of this information,  I’ve detailed several questions with regards to the recruiter / recruitee relationship below.

When Is The Most Likely Time For Recruiters’ To Contact Candidates?

When a recruiter is contacting you by phone, data shows that candidates are twice as likely to answer their phones between the hours of 10-11 am (Source) (vs. earlier in the morning or in the afternoon/ evening), and recruiters know this. Try to maintain availability during this time – it’s primetime recruitment hour.

If a recruiter is contacting you by email, experience demonstrates that recruiters have the most success contacting candidates in the morning or evening, when we aren’t distracted by our schedules or current jobs (Source).

Maintaining availability during these dayparts to check and reply to emails increases your chances of having a successful conversation with your recruiter and not getting overlooked as a candidate.

If you’re working with an external recruiter, you may likely be contacted over the weekend. Studies show that candidates receive 100x as many emails and calls during the workweek as they do over the weekend (Source). Due to a lack of competition during the weekend, this may be an external recruiters’ optimal time to reach you.

Remember, when working with an external recruiter, they want to talk to you, and they want you to be a great candidate. After all, they get paid, if/when you get hired.

What Happens When A Recruiter Is Late To Follow-Up?

As I mentioned earlier, recruiters are people too. Things come up in their personal lives, and within the companies they work for, that may take precedence over contacting you. They’re busy.

If a recruiter doesn’t contact you within the time frame they’ve provided, don’t take it personally, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of the running for a position.

If this happens:

DO: Wait a day or two before politely and considerately following up with them, and use the same contact method they said they would reach you by. 

DON’T: Nag them or leave multiple emails, calls, or texts. This is obnoxious and will probably make them run from you. Remember, you want them on your side.

What If A Candidate Misses the Recruiter’s Call?

Despite our best efforts and intentions, we may miss the call we’ve been waiting for. If this happens, don’t panic! Chances are, the recruiter will not read into this as a judgment of your character or the potential to perform well as an employee.

If you happen to miss the call, fear not, there are professional ways to handle it that will help you stand-out as a candidate.

If You Miss the Call Over the Weekend

If you immediately notice you’ve missed the call (within 1-10 minutes of them calling) then:

  • Listen to the voicemail for callback instructions. If none were given by the recruiter, see step 2 below. 
  • Call them back! Chances are they are still on or near their phone, and ready to have a conversation.

If an entire day has passed, and the recruiter hasn’t left callback instructions then:

  • Call them back if it’s an appropriate time of day to do so (don’t call at dinner time, or 10 pm). If they’re available when you call – great! If not, see step 2 below. 
  • Leave a brief, professional voicemail explaining the situation, outlining the best times for them to contact you, and earnestly remind them that you’re looking forward to the opportunity to talk with them.

NOTE: Since a game of phone tag has now ensued, it’s on you to make sure you’re available when they call again.

If you cannot place a callback over the weekend then:

  1. DON’T follow-up on a Monday. Instead…
  2. Wait until Tuesday to avoid annoying your recruiter and running the risk of making a bad first or second impression (Source).

Pro-Tips For Great Phone Etiquette

Here I’ve outlined some do’s and don’ts for keeping your recruitee phone-game up to par.

    • Keep it simple, but provide some details. Referencing the best times of day to reach you may be helpful.
    • If a recruiter cannot leave you a message due to a full voicemail box, this sends the message that you frequently miss calls, and don’t check your voicemails. This is a red flag for recruiters and is a professional no-no.
    • If you’re in a situation in which you must, keep it on a high vibrate and excuse yourself to take the call – after all, your future career is at stake!
    • Even if you just save it as “recruiter,” when you see the contact appear you won’t mistake the call for something unimportant.
  • IF YOU’RE SLIGHTLY TYPE-A, add a unique (and appropriate) ring-tone to the recruiter contact that you will be able to recognize, should you find yourself away from your phone.

Using these simple strategies may greatly reduce the chance of missing the call in the first place, and help you maintain a great, professional impression should the call be missed!