Why Job Offers Get Put on Hold (And What You Can Do About It!)

September 27th, 2013

It feels fantastic when your job search finally ends with that phone call: “We’d like to offer you the job.”  And not so great when you accept and then—nothing happens. Days, weeks, even months go by and you don’t hear back from the company that once said, “We want to hire you.” Why does this happen? And what are your options?

It’s Not You, It’s Them

It’s hard not to take it personally—but there are many reasons your job offer may not materialize. Many companies use a staffing strategy that has them going after great candidates before the position becomes a sure thing, primarily to keep those candidates away from the competition. And then something happens internally: the expected budget resources don’t come in. The project is cancelled. The department makes cutbacks. An internal candidate may have applied for the job at the last minute, temporarily derailing your offer. Does it stink to be left hanging? Absolutely! Here’s how you can help salvage the situation.

Try to Determine Whether You Want to Wait

First, you’ll need to reconsider whether you want to join this company. Their putting your offer on hold could be a sign of financial trouble or uncertainty. Your first job is to try and find out what’s happening. If a recruiter presented you to the company, start by getting in touch to see what she/he knows. Or try to stay in touch with your contact person at the company while the process plays out. See if you can find out if the delay has a time limit. And if you’re intent on pursuing the position even if they can’t tell you much, keep your contact regular but brief, upbeat and confident. You want them to know you still want the job, but not that you’re impatient or desperate.

Keep Your Options Open

If you decide to continue to pursue a position that’s on hold, you should also forge ahead with your job search. It’s good to keep the delayed offer on the back burner, but there’s no guarantee that the offer will ever rematerialize. You can hope for the best but keep trying to get interviews elsewhere. The worst thing you can do is shut down your search. Keep your resume and your contact list current and keep networking. And stay in touch with the company; be professional and send a message to the hiring manager every month or so just to touch base and remind him or her that you’re still out there.

To avoid uncertain or precarious job offers, try working with a professional recruiting firm like the staffing experts at Synerfac. Our relationships with some of the top companies in the United States mean we know where the best jobs are—and whether you’re the best person for them.

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