Ask Barb: My Clients Make Slow Decisions

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Oct 5, 2011

Dear Barb:

Is it me or are employers just unable to make hiring decisions? I have lost four candidates just this past month due to delays. My clients drag their feet and my candidates accept other offers. The clients are then angry when I tell them my candidates are off the market. It was their fault in the first place for not moving faster. When I try to get the process to move faster I’m accused of hard selling. I feel like I’m caught between a rock and a hard place with my clients. How do I tell them it’s their fault and if they don’t move faster there is not one thing I can do about preventing these candidates from accepting other jobs?

Jason T., Kansas City, MO

Dear Jason:

We have to address a few issues here. First of all, it is not your job to agree or disagree with your clients. If you blame your clients, you will only put them on the defensive and that will not expedite the hiring process. From your question, I believe you are currently viewed as a vendor vs. a trusted advisor by these clients. You have not yet established a strong relationship based on trust which has to be your ultimate goal.

To begin accomplishing this, share a list of expectations with your clients. Put in writing what they can expect from you and what you expect from them. Stress the benefit to them throughout the list of expectations, which clears up confusion. You need to send your candidates on multiple interviews so if they take another opportunity it is through your efforts. The Internet has made it easy for job seekers to search on their own, and most candidates want choices, not just one job offer. You also need to back fill whenever one of your candidates is screened out. The goal is to have 2-3 of your candidates going into the final interview process. It’s important that your clients know your candidates are actively interviewing.

Also understand that time kills deals. Review the caliber of candidates you are submitting to your clients. When you send in a rock star the process often speeds up. When there are unexplained delays it’s often due to average candidates being presented.

Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

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