Have you ever struggled with how to handle a difficult situation and done nothing? I know I have and it always haunts me afterwards.
At Wisnik, we frequently see both candidates and firms “do nothing” in the midst of the hiring process. As an example, last month a candidate stopped responding to calls and emails as soon as he received his offer. From many of years of experience, I knew he was struggling with whether or not to accept the offer. But it would have been much better for the relationship and his professional reputation if he communicated his concerns instead of disappearing. Its easy from the outside to question why wasn’t he able to articulate his concerns to us or formulate questions to ask the firm in order to better make this difficult decision – but we have all been in those situations.
I have seen similar disappearing acts on the firm side. For instance, a candidate has been back for interviews for 2 or 3 rounds when all of a sudden there is no further feedback or response from the firm. It would be so much better if the contact at the firm said “The partners are torn and not sure what they really want in this position. Please give us some time and tell the candidate how appreciative we are of their time, but we are not in a position to hire anyone right now.” By ignoring the situation or avoiding phone calls, we can often tarnish our firm’s brand After all, the hiring process is often the candidate’s first impression of the firm. Don’t you still remember the name of the firm that NEVER got back to you after you invested time and energy interviewing with them?
By dealing with things that make us uncomfortable and explaining our thought processes, we are able to preserve our professional reputation and sleep well at night! Yes, this is all common sense, but please try to remember when you feel like “disappearing” what it felt like to never have heard from that firm or candidate. Doing SOMETHING is always better than doing nothing!