Dealing with an Unresponsive Employer
By Bill Radin
Joan was concerned, and more than a little 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 looked at:
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 right away. Until she got an update, Joan couldn’t credibly counter the candidate’s disappointment or prevent the candidate from looking elsewhere.
Option 2 – Force the issue. Joan could 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.
“I’ll take charge,” thought Joan. But would pitching a hissy fit really speed up the process? No, she decided. And besides, a frontal assault might annoy the employer and possibly make matters worse.
Option 3 – Throw more resumes at the company. Perhaps the hiring manager simply 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 the employer’s been busy putting out a fire somewhere else. Plus, Joan didn’t want to create the impression that candidates are a dime a dozen.
Option 4 – Shop the candidate. This deal’s already on “hold” status until further notice. Why not present the candidate to other employers?
“I like it,” thought Joan. Since she couldn’t change the employer’s timeline, Joan figured she might as well target new companies who might take an interest in her candidate. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more she saw the upside potential.
Not only would Joan expand her horizons, she’d increase her odds of making a placement. Plus, she’d stay on top of the candidate’s job search activity, helping to ensure that would have her hand in any and all offers that might come down the pike. 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 often have the most to lose.