August 29, 2011

Where’s The Job Offer? Creating Urgency for your Candidates

Creating Urgency for CandidatesAlmost two weeks ago I met a candidate at the airport.  He had a great suit, was personable and asked all the right questions on the drive to his interview.  He was charming, affable and very knowledgeable.  He even brought 3 copies of his resume, excellent references and a salary price tag that the employer wouldn’t balk at.  In short, he was perfect candidate for a very tough job to fill. After the interview, the hiring manager loved him too. They indicated to me that they were going to put a job offer together. So it’s two weeks later…where is the offer letter?

Creating urgency for job offers is a fine balance and one that isn’t always successful.  In the case of this one, I was assured again and again that a job offer was forthcoming…it was simply going through HR and internal channels for job approval.  But when you’ve already done all the right legwork, verified the budgeting and know the position is real, how can you get a stalled deal closed? After all, in the recruiting business, time is not our friend. How do you get a job offer for your candidates fast enough to stay in the game?

  1. You’re Going to Lose the Candidate: Explaining to a hiring manager that a candidate is excited about the upcoming opportunity is one thing.  Following that up by telling them that the candidate is actively interviewing for other roles is another.  Making sure to communicate both his or her excitement about the job and marketability is key.  After all, while the candidate might be very excited for this job, he/she has a responsibility in this job market to cover their bases and not to take any job offer or position for granted.
  2. Negative Company Perception: This can be a tricky concept to use with a company.  It’s very effective, but should only be used in a client that is often slow to make a decision.  Letting your hiring manager know that their lack of focus on hiring quickly and efficiently can be a reflection on them is both crucial and dangerous.  It’s also very true.  When a candidate sees an employer dragging their feet and or not coming to a quick decision, it tends to make them question the company and their processes.  Are they in such dire straights that one hire can hurt their bottom line? Are they disorganized and chaotic internally? Are they just discourteous and lacking focus?  All of these are questions that can and will run through a person’s mind and the company should know that.  We all have a tendency to see our side of an equation, and corporations are no different.  Bringing the candidate’s perspective to the forefront is often a useful tool in working with dawdling hiring managers.
  3. Confidence Killer: Starting a new job is an exciting and positive thing.  You’re starting fresh with a company that valued you enough to bring you on board.  You have new co-workers and new responsibilities.  All kinds of opportunities are on the horizon.  Unless of course, you’re not sure if you’re new company really likes you all that much.  When a company drags out the decision making process it can often have unintended results with the new hire.  If they haven’t begun to question the employer, they have definitely started questioning themselves.  Why haven’t they made a decision? Maybe the interview didn’t go as well as I thought… Maybe they’re not sure they wanted to hire me in the first place…  At the end of the day, every company wants new hires to come on board happy, confident and excited.  So let them know that their feet dragging may cause rebound effects long after the candidate is brought on board. Dragging out job offers is the first step to a terrible on-boarding experience.

Bearing in mind that employers don’t always consider the external consequences of their actions (kind of like politicians), it’s part of your job as a Recruiter to educate them.  Everything they do is a reflection on their company, big or small, and it can have unintended consequences as they move forward.  We have all worked with employers that have a negative public opinion out there in the market…and preventing your company or recruiting client from becoming one of them is or should be an imperative.

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With a background in business development and an expertise in staffing and employment, Christine is the Manager of Market Development for At Christine focuses on creating new marketing avenues and products for Recruiters and HR professionals alike.
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