The hiring team has interviewed a great candidate and the majority of the team has given their two thumbs up. You start to breathe a sigh of relief thinking you finally found the right candidate after months of aimlessly searching, interviewing, and suffering through multiple offer-turn downs, or unfavorable team interview feedback.
The hiring manager, who you’ve emailed several times, continues to leave you twiddling your thumbs anxiously awaiting her answer as to whether she wants to pull the trigger and make the hire.
Often, HR and Talent Acquisition Pros find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place with hiring managers and candidates.
“Do I keep the candidate warm, or let her go?”
“We’ve worked so hard on this search, I don’t want to lose him!”
“Why won’t he just let me know one way or the other!”
In today’s insane talent market (the demand for technical talent and the speed with which sought after talent goes “off the market”), timing is everything.
Next time you find yourself in this spot here are some tips for how to best handle the situation and move the process forward:
1. Be proactive…don’t sit back and wait for answers. While the Hiring Manager may be excited about the candidate, she may get caught up and distracted by every day responsibilities/deadlines, etc.
2. Schedule a meeting with the hiring manager to debrief
(Creates accountability and provides comfort knowing you have a set time to obtain the answers you need)
- Identify what he/she likes about the candidate
- Identify what, if any, concerns he has about the candidate’s ability to do the job
- Determine next steps to clarify/alleviate said concerns
- Set a clear timeline for a yes or no decision on candidate
3. If the hiring manager is unresponsive to your request for setting a debrief meeting
- Walk to his office and see if you can catch him live
- Leave a voicemail letting her know you’re getting the impression she is not interested in said candidate’s candidacy and that it’s ok to let you know that so you can professionally remove him from process.
- Send the same message with high-priority via email
4. If yet still no reply leave a voicemail and an email kindly stating that if you haven’t heard back by X date, you will assume there is no interest in pursuing that said candidate and will professionally remove her from process at that time.
*A few caveats to the info. above. Everyone is busy and the hiring manager may truly be interested. Ensure the timing of your follow-ups is conducive to the particular situation/hiring manager at hand.
*Ensure you know if/when the hiring manager may be out of town so that you can obtain feedback ahead of that time.
*Most importantly, avoid this situation of having to “chase” by setting clear expectations prior to the interview for when and how you will obtain feedback. Coach your hiring managers on the necessity of urgency for decisions in today’s talent market.