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Catch and Release.... A Good Policy

June 14, 2009
by Tim Tolan
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You have a big fish (passive candidate) on the hook for a difficult search assignment. It takes lots of cycles to convey why your search is a good fit and all of the accolades about the client and culture. Especially in this economy! It takes multiple conversations to get candidates to warm up and take the bait. After weeks of building trust and rapport with the candidate you finally get a bite. YES. They have given the green light on their interest and they are...yes "on the hook".

AWESOME NEWS! Well, maybe not...

Not if your client wants to drag you and your endangered species through weeks and weeks of one delay after another. C'mon people! Maybe it's a sign of where we are in this market and how supply and demand have changed the behavior of hiring managers and executives in a given search assignment. That has some merit - no doubt. It could be that hiring managers are especially nervous about every little detail about every candidate they interview in an effort to cover their own hind quarters. Perhaps they just take more time to make up their minds to make sure the rest of the team is on board even though its their go no-go decision. Procrastination is somehow justified in this market I am seeing this behavior exercised by more and more hiring managers. No need to hurry-(

Well, the market is changing and we heard recently that many economists are predicting that the economy will pull itself out of the current recession sometime over the next quarter or two. Worst case - maybe three. This great news will have a major impact on hiring over that same span of time and candidates will once again be in demand (some much more in key growth industries). I've already seen more activity in 30 days than in the prior 2-3 quarters. Good news for all.

Dragging out search assignments and holding up the search process will backfire in the months ahead. It might be a good idea to adopt a "catch and release" strategy in your company. Catch and hold is not a very good plan at all. Nope.

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Comments

If candidates adhere to some basic guidelines around decent conduct and mutual respect, these problems would go away. Candidates should know that there are other parties involved in the process, dependent on their decisions.

Anyone that overly plays an advantageous hand to the point of arrogance will pay for it down the road. As you've said before Tim, it's a small industry and a good hand today can turn into a bad hand tomorrow. Today's highly sought-after and comfortably employed candidate can fast become tomorrow's needy laid-off exec.

Simple rules of conduct can save us so many problems.

Agreed. it plays out on both sides of the table - candidates and clients. The need to play games from either makes no sense and will definately backfire in the weeks and months ahead as the market turns. And turn...it will!

Tim Tolan

Senior Partner, Sanford Rose Associates Healthcare IT Practice

@@TimTolan

http://sanfordrose.net/thetolangroup/

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