With the demand for technical talent these days I wonder why, after completing many rounds of interviews and deciding to hire a candidate, it takes more than three days to come out with an offer. Why wait? You lose momentum from the last interview with every minute that goes by. Take advantage of the moment and make the offer you intend to make within 24 hours of the candidate’s final interview. Otherwise you run the risk of stunting the momentum you’ve worked so hard to create and souring the experience for the job seeker.

Everyone has been in this situation: you go to a restaurant, you have a great meal, the experience and vibe of the place is amazing and the wait staff is very friendly, timely and informative. Then you finish your meal and your cocktail and you wonder where that wonderful waiter went. It’s obvious that the server is busy with other tables, but all they need to do is get the check for you and you’ll be out the door! As time goes on, the great dining experience you had turns sour and while it won’t completely ruin the experience it will stick in your mind and be the last thing you remember about the place. All that hard work the server put in at the beginning is forgotten and his tip will, no doubt, be drastically reduced.

Similarly, while the job seeker reflects on the interviewing experience and wonders why it’s taking so long to make a decision, they start resenting how long they’re being made to wait. Put yourself in the shoes of a job seeker after a final round interview. Imagine that you felt it went very well and maybe the hiring manager even said that they will be getting back to you shortly with an offer or a positive decision. A day passes, then two days, then the weekend.

Here’s the job seeker’s thought process:

* They’re interviewing other candidates so I should check out other options to see if there’s anything better out there.

* Did I say something that put them off in the final interview? It wasn’t a technical interview so maybe they just didn’t like me and were putting on a fake façade.

* I have an offer already from my #2 choice. Since my #1 choice is taking so long I had better accept the offer from my #2. After all, a bird in hand is better than two in the bush!

* If they take this long to make a decision, how do they make other decisions?

* Do I want to work for someone that can’t make up their mind?

Ultimately you can see that letting a candidate sit for too long is not a good thing. Job seekers are not wine or cheese! They’re people who want to be hired. I understand that larger companies have processes in place for a reason and an approval strategy must be gone through before any offers are extended, but you can get all of that done before the final round interview. You can get ready to go so you can make a timely decision.

Here are some other tips:

* Make a verbal offer and let the job seeker know that once you get verbal acceptance you will generate the offer letter.

* Alert your hiring “party” that you have a candidate that you’re strongly considering, in order to get the necessary paperwork out of the way before the final round interview.

* If you’re working with an agency make sure that they set the proper expectations with the job seeker ahead of time so it doesn’t become a frustrating “hurry up and wait” scenario.

* Follow up with the job seeker every day to update them on what’s happening. The worst thing you can do is let the job seeker simmer without any updates.

In a perfect world you’d find a job seeker that you want to hire and you’d make them an offer. There are certain procedures for doing things that you must adhere to but don’t let them stand in the way of hiring the right candidate. The market is, once again, incredibly competitive for good candidates and sometimes the only thing that keeps you from getting the candidate you want is the slowness of your hiring process.

Full speed ahead!

Views: 2065

Comment by Eric Smith on July 21, 2011 at 3:01pm
Great Analogy about the waiter.
Comment by Candace Nault on July 21, 2011 at 4:50pm
Great post!  Wish hiring managers (and HR) really understood this issue.  Thanks!
Comment by Kelly Wied on July 21, 2011 at 5:02pm

Can we make this into a greeting card and send to all of our clients?  ;-)

Comment by Timothy Yandel on July 22, 2011 at 1:05pm
@Kelly I'm working on a nice greeting card... I like the way you think! Thanks everyone else for reading.
Comment by Cindy J. Biter on August 2, 2011 at 5:04pm
Great article.  Can I print it off and mail to to my clients?  Anonymously, of course!!!
Comment by Timothy Yandel on August 2, 2011 at 6:05pm
Absolutely! you can even tell them about me, but I don't think that would gel with you. ;)
Comment by Eric Putkonen on August 3, 2011 at 12:22pm

Great article.  Employers who wait will lose more and more as time goes.  Competition is getting fierce is some sectors (like mentioned in Monday's article in Businessweek - Hiring Like It's 1999 - http://www.businessweek.com/technology/hiring-like-its-1999-0801201...)


Candidates are going to have multiple offers more and more...the employers who wait and delay will lose.

Comment by Julie Link on August 4, 2011 at 11:42am
Yes!  We need to educate our clients so they don't miss out on great potential hires!
Comment by Keith Plesha on August 4, 2011 at 5:34pm
Instill that sense of urgency immediately with the client or they will constantly miss out on potentially great folks.  This is even more pertinent with tech contracts.  I struggle with this with my own internal hiring managers dragging their feet...sometimes they need to miss out on that great candidate to fully understand the concept.
Comment by Gina Cleo Bloome on August 5, 2011 at 12:21pm

Amen!   I flew out for an interview with a great company 3 weeks ago.  I came home so excited about the people, the challenge and the feeling that I nailed the interviews.

Radio silence since...


What is scary is that I am being considered for a Dir Recruiting role, you think the in house recruiter would be paying more attention to her potential big boss.


The other day, I interviewed with a head hunter who said I was perfect for his client and then told me he would be presenting resumes in 2 weeks.  Maybe something has changed since I headhunted but my boss would have fired me if I had let the candidate leave my office without me calling the client and setting up the interview for the first available slot.

Has the art of making the deal disappeared from the Recruiting Process? 




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