Monday 22 October 2012

When the Job Offer is not forthcoming

What happens when you've cleared every one of these hurdles (1st, 2nd even 3rd interviews) only to learn that your impending offer is now on indefinite hold?

Don't take it personally if your job offer is postponed. There are many reasons for a delay although the most important thing is to not make assumptions as to why the communication has died up or, has in fact, stalled just when you thoughts the actual job offer was forthcoming. Perhaps a major company initiative went south, requiring everyone's attention to this specific project. Perhaps your contact won the lottery and now they're scrambling to replace him / her. Perhaps, the management team is locked in a week long strategy session (as has happened to me recently) and will be looking to move ahead in the next week or so. Perhaps, an internal candidate may have thrown their hat in the ring at the last minute, temporarily derailing your offer.
BUT, you you still try and determine what’s behind the holdup.

Putting an offer on hold is usually a sign of a softening balance sheet. Job offers typically go on hold because the company has decided their financial situation is not as positive as they thought it would be, dictating that most, if not all, of their open positions be put on hold until the picture looks brighter.
It won’t harm your chances if you ask your contact at the company for plausible reasons for the delay.

Ask … if the person making the offer is the person responsible for deciding to put the offer on hold?
Ask … who decided to put the offer on hold?

Ask … when you can meet this person and show her that you are worth hiring regardless of a blanket hiring freeze? (If one exists)

Even if you know the reason an offer has been temporarily tabled, DO NOT get complacent about your job search. The offer may not even rematerialize in the next 30 days or so. If it’s your dream job, you may elect to wait, but you should work with the company on a timetable that seems reasonable. Trying to nail this down might uncover what level of trust is there for both parties.

If you decide to continue to pursue a position that's on hold, you have two tasks ahead of you:
Firstly … When leaving voice mails or emails, keep your tone breezy, cheery and upbeat.

Secondly … Forge ahead with your job search.
In other words, hope for the best and prepare for more interviews elsewhere. As harsh as it is, the more time that goes by with nothing happening - the greater the likelihood that your success to date in getting to where you are isn't going to become an actual job.

More on Accepting a Job Offer


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