I Thought I Was The Only One? Pick Me! | Tim Tolan | Healthcare Blogs Skip to content Skip to navigation

I Thought I Was The Only One? Pick Me!

April 26, 2009
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Once a candidate engages in a search, questions start flying my way – lots of questions. The one that always amazes me the most is this one “So, are there other candidates under consideration for this opportunity”? WHAT? What kind of question is that?

So, you thought you were the only one? C’mon – you know better than that!

Clients are looking for the candidate that meets the position profile, has a track record of success, the requisite educational credentials and is the best cultural fit for the organization (among other key drivers). In most cases we profile dozens of candidates, screen many and finally get to a short list after weeks and weeks of qualifying the best candidates to present to our client. In many cases it gets down to a single candidate that receives the offer. So, don’t take it personal. The message here is that there will always be other candidates in the search process – if the search consultant is worth their salt.

Many candidates meet and exceed in almost every category (plus others) I covered above – but may not “fit” into the corporate culture in the greener pastures they are seeking. And…that’s OK. There will be a “fit” somewhere else for that candidate if they are patient and diligent in their search for a new job. A job search is a journey that should force you, the candidate, to step back and assess what you really want out of a new opportunity. It could be career progression, a new boss, more money or a move closer to family, to the mountains or near the ocean. It’s your life!

So… don’t over-react when the search consultant says ‘YES” to “So, are there other candidates under consideration for this opportunity?”

The answer should be YES -- every single time.



I completely agree - very scary. Besides, they know we have been retained to conduct a complete search - which always involves more than one candidate. Go figure!

Joe: What's amazing to me - is many experienced executives with a solid management record are the ones asking the question. It's as if I can secretly place them (without any other candidates) without ever actually doing a full blown search. As you know - that's not the way we do business.

Great post, again.
You're definitely widening the gap between people with little management experience who dont read your blog, and the other extreme. Does this make your job easier?


I don't know of any other way to approach business. No nonsense - and to the point. That's the best approach for how to run my business for sure.
Thanks for the comment Gwen!

Tim. If I was the only person going for a job, I would think something was very wrong with that particular job. It sounds like you've had some very amusing candidate-education sessions.


From the questions I get from candidates, there's obviously a lot of mystery surrounding the role of an executive search consultant. Frankly, I'm not sure that this is entirely accidental. What I love about your approach is that you're a WYSIWYG kind of guy - direct and to-the-point, but approachable at the same time, and always honest. I continue to learn a lot from your posts, and it helps me provide even better service to both Healthcare IT candidates and employers - thanks.