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The Agony of Waiting For a Job Offer



As a recruiter for the last 20+ years, I have obviously been involved in negotiating hundreds of job offers between my clients and the candidates I have provided to them. It can be a really enjoyable process for me most of the time, as I get to give the good news to someone looking for a better opportunity who has likely been in the interview process for several weeks at a minimum. But it can also be really stressful, not so much for me as for the candidate waiting for the offer to come and finally get them over the finish line. The candidate is ALWAYS in a hurry to get the written offer, with the obvious positive advantages that come along with it. But the company is often times not on the same timeline, which can make for a difficult waiting period for the candidate. And there is usually nothing I can do to help, which is also frustrating.


So why don’t companies act more swiftly to get these offers out? Well, as I explain to my candidates all the time, there are a variety of factors involved. They may be still interviewing other candidates, working out organizational charts and where you may fit, or ensuring that there are the right dollars available in their budget to bring you on. Or, as is more often than not the case, they simply have many other things going on and are likely working on multiple hires at the same time. You are one person and they are likely multi-tasking with multiple people. So, what can you do to get through this often-difficult waiting game? First and foremost, be patient. Remember the old saying that good things come to those who wait? It can ring true many times, although of course not always. According to US News and World Report, here are a few tips to remember when waiting for your job offer to come from a company:


· Follow up- To help ease the stress of waiting, ask when you should follow up with the recruiter or hiring manager, and set those dates/time on your calendar. Resist the temptation be too aggressive and over check! You don’t want to become a stalker. And make your follow up calls/e-mails brief and clear. Something like “I wanted to touch base on the status of the offer. Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide for you” is a good way to go. Brief and to the point.


· Notify your references- Offers can be delayed when references don’t return phone calls in a timely manner. Let your references know the name and phone number of the person who will be calling them so they can be prepared for the call and not delay the process for you.


· Don’t lie about having another offer in hand- This is the most used tactic to try and pressure the company to speed up the process. I have heard it a hundred times! And in most cases, it is blatantly obvious that you aren’t being truthful. Many times, the company will call your bluff, then where does that leave you? And many corporate recruiters talk to each other, so it’s not that hard to see if you are lying, which will completely ruin your credibility.


· Keep the news quiet that you are waiting on an offer- People talk. Even those in the workplace that you may trust. If they let your boss know you are waiting on an offer and you don’t end up getting it, big problem. And do not post on social media or your LinkedIn. Again, people talk and you don’t want to blow the opportunity.


· Continue to look for other new opportunities- I just gave this advice to someone I am close with today. According to Glassdoor, the average length of the job interview process in the US is 23.8 days, not including the offer process. So, you could be waiting for this offer for quite some time. If you stop looking at new positions, and the offer doesn’t come through, you could waste a month or more that you could have been interviewing elsewhere and possibly found something even better.


· Handle potential rejection with grace and dignity- You could wait for several weeks on pins and needles for an offer that never comes. It happens for various reasons, but it does happen. Always be kind and professional when getting a rejection, even if it has taken much longer than you wanted. Do not lash out and tell the person off. NEVER BURN A BRIDGE! You don’t know that the person delivering the rejection was the decision maker. Often times they are just the messenger. And that person who you give a tongue lashing to may show up in a power position at another company in the future, maybe even one you work for. Awkward! And I say resist the temptation to slam that person or company on Glassdoor or social media. In the end, what positive result will come out of that for you?


· Relax, stay positive, and be patient- Waiting really stinks. It can be agonizing, especially if you let your mind race and start making assumptions. So, don’t. Start a new book. Go to a yoga class. Make a delicious dinner for your family. Do something that makes you happy and takes your mind off of waiting. And remember, good things come to those who wait! 😁


Ron Milman is the Principal of Milman Search Group, a leading National Recruiting/Staffing/Coaching agency efficiently filling positions for companies across a wide variety of industries and specialties, and coaching career seekers.Check them out at www.milmansearch.com or contact Ron directly at ron@milmansearch.com


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