Can Time Kill ALL Deals: What To Know About The Candidate-Driven Market

A candidate-driven market has created a two-way street in radio silence.

In a candidate-driven market, time can still kill deals. What do I mean by candidate-driven market? Simply that candidates have multiple options when choosing their next firm. I have seen more candidates change their mind about what firm they want to go to as time goes by. The firms that hire faster will offer: less bureaucracy, candidates to corporate headquarters quicker, and are the firms not being left at the altar. Hiring managers must be more aware than ever that time will kill a deal. Since candidates have more options, they tend to be less loyal to the firms they are currently interviewing with. This seems to be happening more with candidates at the junior level rather than those at the managing director level or partnership level.

Does a candidate-driven market change the interview process?

For the remainder of this blog I want to address an area I’ve spoken previously about known as radio silence. Even though we are in a candidate-driven market, firms mostly have not changed the hiring process. For those firms that are taking their time making decisions and communicating with either the recruiter or directly to the candidate, radio silence can be a concern.  In the year 2019, radio silence is no longer a one-way street from the hiring manager to the candidate. Due to the candidate-driven market, radio silence now goes from the candidate to the hiring manager.

What is radio silence, anyway? 

Radio Silence may be a term you are not familiar with, but it is something we’ve all experienced. Paraphrasing Urban Dictionary, “Radio Silence occurs when one is dating; receiving lots of calls and texts from both parties and it comes to a sudden and unexplained halt.” Instead of leading towards the altar, you’re leading towards a black hole: a collapsed and dying relationship. One of the parties is absolutely baffled by why the bond was getting so strong and suddenly it appears non-existent. This does sound a lot like the interview process that many of us go through, as both candidate and client company.

So, what is the answer to this dilemma? 

The key word is patience. Because a firm or a candidate has gone radio silent, it does not mean that their interest in you has waned in the slightest. As I have mentioned in numerous posts, it just takes time. And in some instances, a lot of time. The adage time kills deals is not as prevalent in the hiring of candidates. We are seeing a great deal more time dedicated to the due diligence portion of the interview process. Firms that were actively looking to get offers out immediately after the final interview are now taking much longer. Many of the “larger” teams are taking board actions to get hired. And boards do not always keep to the schedule that they say they are trying to meet. Even the one-man hires are requiring financial modeling before a firm will extend that coveted offer. 

In addition, candidates are being more cautious about accepting new positions because they want to make sure that their current book of business is transferable, and that the platform is what is represented. Many of the candidates that are prime subjects know that this should be their last stop on their career path. Candidates are very aware that changing firms too much can hurt their career, and they are weighing all opportunities cautiously.

What can you do when the time is taking too long in this candidate-driven market?

COMMUNICATE! Don’t berate and pester. Hiring managers as well as candidates do not mind answering questions about why a process is taking longer than everyone expected. Trust me. From my experience, the hiring managers are just as frustrated as you are that they cannot extend an offer to you, or get an offer signed and returned by the candidate. By you sharing your consistent and non-wavering desire to become part of that firm, this makes it much easier for the manager to counsel his or her supervisor to get you on board. Or on the inverse, give you more time to make your decision. Checking in every couple of weeks for the status is something that you should plan on accomplishing. And do not read radio silence as a lack of interest. It’s just become a part of the process in 2019. 

To determine if you are one of the professionals with the right stuff, reach out to me for a confidential conversation at [email protected] or for a more immediate response call 760-477-1284.

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 level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, and Bond Counsels. He can be reached on LinkedIn, at [email protected] or 760-477-1284.