Be known for being responsive

I love working with people that are responsive. In my short career so far many of the people that have left a positive impression on me have done so because of the timely and considered nature in which they respond.

As a recruiter I meet a lot of people in pain. These people are in pain because they have often been unable to fill a vacancy for a long period of time. Their business is hurting as a result. And even worse, they are stressed. It’s now an “urgent fill” we need to “see resumes ASAP”.


Often though when resumes are submitted we have to chase these companies for days (or weeks) for feedback. They aren’t responsive enough, the candidates’ line up other interviews and the company stays in its cycle of pain.


The responsive people get the best staff. I’ve written before on the most important part of the recruitment process. But it’s not just in recruitment – being responsive in any type business or life more generally leads to better outcomes.


I pride myself on being responsive. Previously it was something I did subconsciously but now I’ve become more conscious of it as others point it out. My aim is to respond to any message I receive as soon as I can regardless of who the message is from. Missed calls are returned at the first opportunity, emails are normally responded to within 3-4 hours of being received (often sooner and always within 24 hours) and text messages often instantly.

When you are responsive:

  • It gives your recipient a sense that they are important to you.

  • Gives the impression that you are well organised and are able to move quickly.

  • Suggests to your recipient that you are someone that is a “doer” rather than someone who is indecisive.


Being responsive doesn’t mean that you need to have the answer or the solution straight away. Here are 3 ways you can be responsive and also buy yourself more time:

  • “Thank you for your email. I want to make sure I get all the correct information through to you. Is it ok if I send it you by Friday?”

  • “Hi Tom, I just need to check with the finance team before confirming. I’ll get back to you in a day or two.”

  • “Thanks for sending me your resume Sally. It doesn’t match any of our requirements today, but feel free to get back in touch in 2 weeks.”

Being responsive is really just a combination of great communication and politeness. The best thing about it is everyone can do it – there is nothing stopping you!


So, treat others the way that you would like to be treated – be responsive.


James Witcombe

The Candidate Coach

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