Joan was frustrated. A week had gone by since the hiring manager interviewed her top candidate; but since then, she couldn’t get him to return her calls or respond to her emails.
In the meantime, her candidate’s attitude was starting to sour, as post-interview euphoria turned to disillusion. Given the employer’s silent treatment, there was little Joan could do to keep her candidate warm.
“Well, this stinks,” thought Joan, as she considered her options. Here are the strategies she considered.
Option 1 – Stay the course. Wait another week or two for the employer to respond and assure the candidate that all is well.
Joan rejected this approach, since she couldn’t control the candidate’s disappointment or prevent the candidate from exploring other opportunities.
Option 2 - Force the issue. Double the number of phone calls and emails, break down the hiring manager’s door, or get somebody – anybody – at the company to intercede and get an answer.
“Yes, take control!” thought Joan. But would pitching a hissy fit really heighten the employer’s sense of urgency? No, she decided. And besides, a frontal assault might annoy the employer and possibly make matters worse.
Option 3 – Throw more resumes at the employer. Assume the hiring manager needs to see more candidates in order to make a decision.
“Very tempting,” thought Joan. But without knowing what’s causing the delay, the solution of more candidates may not address the underlying problem. Maybe the employer already has too many people under consideration, in which case more choices would create even more uncertainty and more bottlenecks. Or maybe the position’s been placed on hold. Or maybe the employer’s busy putting out a fire somewhere else. Plus, if Joan were to commoditize her candidates, it might create the impression that they’re a dime a dozen.
Option 4 – Shop the candidate. We’re already on “hold” status until further notice. Why not present the candidate to other employers?
“I like it,” thought Joan. Since she couldn’t ignite the employer’s sense of urgency or speed up the timeline, Joan figured she might as well target new companies who might have an interest in her candidate. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more she saw the upside.
Not only would Joan expand her horizons, she’d increase her odds of making a placement by creating more opportunities. Plus, she’d stay on top of the candidate’s job search activity, helping to ensure that any and all offers would be brokered by Joan. And if one of the bidders happened to be Joan’s sleepwalking client, then so much the better. It might just reinforce the notion that in today’s war for talent, those who snooze are more likely to lose.
(c)2012 Bill Radin