No Answer, IS An Answer - Don’t Get “LeBron-ed” like Cleveland Just Did


Have you ever been involved with a candidate that states they are working on making a decision between several great offers? Kind of like LeBron James recently? All of them are great positions and great financial offers. All of them could be the first and best choice. Great for the candidate getting the offers! And lets say one of those choices is the current employer. They are making a counter offer that is a lot more money than anyone else is offering. They really want to keep their A player!

The candidate is indicating that everything is fine and that they love their current employer, but time is passing the deadline is approaching quickly. The candidate stops telling anyone involved anything of substance and more time passes. Everyone starts to get a sour taste in their mouth. And as in the case of the Cleveland Cav’s, everyone was too emotionally involved and not seeing the actions for what they are.

As soon as I heard that Cleveland was furious about Mr. James not staying home I said to myself sometimes no answer is an answer! Except in rare circumstances, lack of communication as much as frequent communication is a clear indicator for level of interest. I prefer to tell a candidate directly that if you do not give an answer, any answer, do not return calls, do not reply to emails, you give everyone an answer whether you want to or not…that your time and interest is elsewhere. This can impact the current employers view of the candidate as well as impact their negotiating power. Communication is key in all relationships especially the recruiting one. Don’t let bridges get burned or as I like to say now, don’t get “LeBron-ed”.


Views: 71

Comment by Lisa Howarth on July 18, 2010 at 8:25pm
When I was recruiting, I used to tell candidates in a multiple offer situation that this was a lot like a birthday party .. everyone comes to your birthday party with a present (i.e. each company comes with an offer), and by making companies wait it is like telling your party goer that their present doesn't quite look interesting enough to open, you're going to wait to see what else comes in the door.

This may work for the first birthday, but next year (i.e. next search) you'll be all on your own.

I don't think there is anything wrong with putting yourself out there, looking for the best opportunity - but you have to do it with integrity. Many candidates go to competitors just to get the paper offer that they can take back to their current company to demand a raise. In the end, it makes the prospective employer angry that they were used; it makes the current company feel like they have been put over a barrel.

So how can you be better than LeBron? Don't make a spectacle about it. Be honest with prospects - you're very happy with your current role, but are always open to interesting opportunities. Don't make a company put an offer on paper if you're not serious about taking it.

Now, if only I could make the millions Lebron does.
Comment by Dina Harding on July 18, 2010 at 10:53pm
Well said, Noel, and so true! Thank you for sharing this post with us. :D

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