Inside Tips From A Professional Recruiter: Timing

How much does timing really matter when it comes to the interview and hiring process?

Timing: Your Worst Enemy Or Your Best Friend 

As we continue with recruiter tips to make your 2024 even stronger, I thought about the total concept of timing and how it reflects on hiring.  As time dictates, timing can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  I am not talking about when you take a job in the year or the timing of your move based on when a bonus is delivered.  I am talking about timing as to when a firm thinks that a candidate is ready to accept an offer or the timing of the entire process of hiring.

When The Stars Align

Timing is crucial in making successful deals, which is a well-known fact. However, what people fail to comprehend is that there is a specific time for a deal to take place.  If that time is missed, the deal may not happen at all. For a deal to go through, both the candidate and the client firm need to be on the same page at the same time. As a new recruiter, I learned that the candidate must be willing and prepared to accept the offer, while the firm should be ready to present the offer. If either party is not in sync with the timing, the deal can fall apart.

Important Questions 

How can we put this theory into practice and test it in the real world? As we discussed last week, one of the most important questions I ask during every call is, “Has anything changed since our last conversation?” The second most important question is, “Has your timing in the hiring process changed?” I make sure to keep the candidate informed about where we are in the process compared to the end goal and ensure that they are mentally prepared for the next step. For instance, if the next step involves a trip to the corporate headquarters, I check with the candidates whether they are ready for it. If they feel it’s too soon, I take a gradual approach. On the other hand, if the candidate is ready to meet everyone and the client isn’t, I manage expectations accordingly.

Timing From Time Off & New Feelings

I’ve noticed that after people come back from vacations, they tend to be less motivated than they were before. When someone returns to work after a break, I approach them differently than I would if they were only gone for a short period. This is because people often forget the negative aspects of their job while they’re away, and they may be feeling particularly positive after their time off. As a result, they might say that they’re happy where they are and not interested in new opportunities. To avoid this, I try to get candidates hired before they leave for vacation so that they return with a clear mind and the expectation of starting a new job. Do you see why timing is crucial yet? 

Deadlines & Expectations

It is important to communicate with candidates when they have a personal deadline to meet, such as being hired by the end of the year; however, the firm cannot move at that same pace. Managing a candidate’s expectations is key to avoiding disappointment when things do not happen as quickly as they would like. The timing of events is not as important as managing everyone’s expectations about the timing of the next steps.  So, to get your next hire on board you are hoping to communicate all timing concerns as soon as they appear.  Nothing is worse than waiting for something that may not happen in the time frame you were expecting.


You don’t need a resume to chat with us! If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Harlan publishes a blog every Thursday here. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.