Extending Job Offers too Late

Vector illustration.

Article written by Timothy Yandel

“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.”

“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? 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 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.”

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