The (IT) job offer is all in the timing

Though it may sound cliché, timing really is everything when you’re searching for an IT job. After reading a blog earlier this week which encouraged job seekers to consider timing during the job search, our recruiters agree that candidates do have more control over their job search than they may think.

Case in point. Recently, we identified a candidate who seemed to be perfect for an IT job one of our client’s was seeking to fill. During the call, the candidate told the recruiter that he had interviewed with another company the day before and was interested in that opportunity. Knowing that “time is of the essence,” our recruiter requested the candidate email his updated resume immediately so that an interview could be set up. It took three days before the recruiter received the resume. An interview was scheduled for the following week since the hiring manager’s schedule was booked with other candidate interviews.

Unfortunately, what happened next happens frequently with job seekers. Our candidate went to the interview, was extremely impressed with the client and thought the job was a perfect fit. Likewise, the client really liked this guy and wanted to schedule a final interview in two days (when they would make a decision and extend an offer). Upon returning home from the interview, the candidate received a call from the company he had previously interviewed with, and they extended an offer. Although he was more interested in our client’s position, the candidate was afraid NOT to take the offer, and he was uncomfortable asking for additional time to think it over. He accepted the offer, but was disappointed at not having the chance for a final interview with our client.

It didn’t have to turn out that way, but time waits for no one. There are several things he SHOULD have done, that may have changed the outcome of his job search. Here are four tips that will help ensure time is on your side during the job search process.
  1. Know the start date. At the beginning of the process, ask your recruiter or the hiring manager what the hiring process is and when they would like the new employee to begin. Knowing how long the interview and offer process is gives you some control in managing multiple job opportunities. For instance, if you apply for a job that has a 30 day hiring process versus another job that is a one interview process (2-3 days tops), be aware and decide up front if you’re willing to take the first offer. If the job with the longer hiring process is the one you REALLY want, be prepared to turn the other down.
  2. Act immediately. You can affect timing if you move quickly. When a recruiter asks you to send your resume that day – don’t delay – send your resume that day! Make yourself available and schedule the interview sooner rather than later. Remember, one day can mean the difference between accepting an “alright” offer and an “ALRIGHT” offer.
  3. Schedule interviews close together. If you’re interested in several jobs, and you have the opportunity to interview for some or all of them, try to coordinate the interviews close together (the same day, or at least within the same week). You have a much greater chance of getting multiple offers when interviews are conducted within proximity to one another. Then you won’t have to leave an opportunity on the table – you’ll have the luxury of choosing the job that best suits you.
  4. Sleep on it. Yes, timing is everything and the early bird catches the worm. But if you are expecting multiple offers, ask for a little time (no more than 24 hours if possible) to think things over. This will show the recruiter and the hiring manager that you are interested, and it will also buy you time to see if another offer presents itself.

As the economy slowly improves, more IT jobs are opening up in the Atlanta market and nationwide. Until recently, IT professionals often took the first job they were offered. Now, candidates can use “timing” to help them get an offer they just can’t refuse.

Views: 83

Comment by Paul Alfred on November 19, 2010 at 3:18pm
Wooo ... Who is in charge of the deal outcome here the Recruiter or the Candidate ...? The school where I come from the minute that candidate passes his resume to a Recruiter the process is out of the Candidate's control ..

I am not sure what control a candidate really has in this relationship - I understand that you are writing this from the perspective of the Candidate and his actions ...
Comment by Jon Prete on November 19, 2010 at 5:00pm
Thanks for your comment. I'll try to answer your questions. The intent of the blog was to provide suggestions on how job seekers can "organize" opportunities to maximize multiple offers. The market place is changing (as more jobs become available), and we have seen on multiple occasions where candidates have had multiple offers that have come in at different times and have been torn about the decisions. Had these candidates responded more quickly (per the recruiter's request) and/or tried to get their "ducks in a row" the offers may have been made around the same time, enabling the candidates to choose the jobs they really wanted. Hope this helps.

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