By Kevin Roth
“She’s ready to accept an offer, but she can’t start for 6 weeks due to some personal matters she has to take care of.”
– We can’t wait that long. We’ll have to look for someone else.
“Do you have a backup that you’re ready to move forward with?”
– No, we’ll just have to keep searching.
6 weeks sounds like a long time to wait for a candidate to start.
That is of course until you realize you’ve been trying to fill this role for 6 months!
Not to mention that any new candidates that you first engage right now are likely going to take 3-4 weeks to get through your interview process and then have to give minimum 2 weeks notice to their current employer.
Math is not my strongest subject but I believe that puts us right at the same 6 weeks that you would’ve been waiting for your top choice!
If you’re facing this situation as a hiring manager, don’t be so quick to hit the reset button. Instead, take the following steps to make sure you’re protected across the board:
1. Get on a video call (or meet in person if possible) to ensure a STRONG commitment from the candidate. Show them you’re willing to support them with their timeline but that you expect the same from them.
2. Continue passively searching for candidates while you’re waiting for that start date to arrive. If by some chance the other candidate does back out, you’ll already have a head start on other options.
If you’re lucky enough in this market to find someone you love, don’t let the timing get in the way. With the steps above, you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it too!