Monday, November 5, 2007

Imperative for candidates to be open and honest

Lately, it appears that some candidates are willing to go to great lengths to mislead both ourselves and the corporations which we work with. With the market being as hot as it is, it tends to come with the territory. However, that is not an excuse for the type of behavior some candidates are displaying.

Case in point, we were trying to conclude a search last week. It was a situation where we had an offer for an individual, and we were aware that he received another offer. Throughout this process, we met everyone of his goals that he listed...consumer electronics company, good working environment, etc. The other company did not "appear" to offer these criteria according to the candidate at the time. It got to a point where the offer from the other company was a little higher than the company that we were representing. Therefore, the company decided to bring up the base salary to a level that was very comparable to the other offer he had. Smartly, before this company decided to present the updated offer to him, they offered him a day to think about it to make sure that he would accept this new offer. They did not want to go through the paperwork if he was not going to do so. And, they asked that he contact them. Once again, they wanted to see firsthand his interest in the position. Sure enough, the next day, the candidate called up this company to say he would accept if the revised offer was signed off on.

Moving a couple of days ahead, I got confirmation from the candidate that he received the FedEx package with the revised offer. He wrote me to say that this was "good news". Then, all of a sudden he disappeared for a couple of days. He never responded to email or returned calls. Of course, one starts to wonder at this point, and for good reason. The offer was going to be null and void at the end of the work week. Low and behold, he finally called me back up during the middle of the day on Friday and declined the revised offer. He could never give me any reason as to why that was now the case or what transpired during the past week. He was just accepting the other offer and that was it. The only thing that I finally got him to say is that it was true that he mislead both myself and the company during this process.

The reason why I write about this particular event is to again mention the fact that you are continuously in the process of building your brand. I do not have a problem with someone declining an offer that is made to them. It happens all the time. What I do expect is open communication and honesty throughout the process. I pride myself on that, and I think it is only fair to expect it in return. In this case, the engineer took a hit to his brand. You never know when something like this might come back to haunt you in the future. So, please, for all those candidates out there, please do your best to communicate in an "open" fashion when dealing with recruiters or companies alike. It is not that hard. And, you will garner great respect for doing so. Your brand will keep on expanding, and hopefully as a result, your career will flourish as a result.

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