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You’re Number One, But Not Really: Why This Sucks For Everyone


waste of time, get it? flickr: der sich den wolf tanzt

Have you ever heard this before? “You’re our top candidate, but we want to look around and see who else is out there.” (Honestly, we might find that a little bit flattering—at first.)

Jessica Lee at Fistful of Talent is sick of this line. She says that when hiring managers say that to candidates, the hiring managers may think its in their best interests (so they can get a chance to look around and find that secret, untapped source of talent) but it really isn’t. Not to mention how it sucks, obviously, for jobseekers, who are told that they’re totally awesome but not awesome enough. And for the recruiters who spend more time digging up more candidates.

“If you and the hiring manager both know that you probably have ‘the one,’ why bring more candidates through just for the sake of interviewing more?” If the recruiter’s already gone through the work of weeding out all but the top two or three candidates, these backup candidates probably aren’t going to be all that much better. And in a non-recruiter situation, we add, anyone who didn’t apply for the job the first time it was posted probably didn’t want it that much (or wasn’t on the market at the time, sure, but that’s always an issue).

But if you waste this great, talented future employee’s time, she may slip away, frustrated with delays. Why risk it?

I just got an e-mail recently offering us a (freelance) gig I applied for more than six months ago. (Well, it was an offer to go into round 2 of interviews, which I’m sure I would have aced.) I’m positive I would have been great for this gig, but six months ago, I had room in my schedule for that sort of thing and now I’m totally busy. So, company that delayed six months for no reason(?), you miss out. Luckily in this case I didn’t need to wait six months to hear back, but no jobseeker in his right mind is going to sit around unemployed for half a year hoping to hear back from his top choice. So move it or lose it, guys.

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