Toronto Headhunter Mark Rouse
By Mark Rouse, Toronto Marketing Recruiter

Yes. No. Not yet. The Hardest Thing a Recruiter Has To Tell You May Be a Surprise.

In recruiting it is harder to say “not yet” than it is to say “no, you did not get the job.” Of course for every candidate that hears “yes” and gets the job there are several that hear they did not. Those are not pleasant calls to make, but they are an expected part of the job. It is much harder to tell a candidate “not yet” when a client cannot act as quickly as they and the candidate both wish.

There are numerous reasons for a client to delay making a hiring decision but very few are comforting to a candidate who is anxious to make the next move in their career. And sometimes we cannot share the reason because it is confidential; we must simply ask the candidate to be patient. Trust and transparency are pillars on which IQ is based, so this is especially difficult.

Delays can happen for a variety of reasons

Hiring Delays

1. There is often more than one person internally who needs to interview the candidate.

2. There can be scheduling conflicts or changes, especially when meeting senior level clients.

3. Companies often find it difficult to find time to fit in the hiring process (a key reason for hiring a recruiter in the first place).

4. They have to perform reference and credit checks – often there can be delays in connecting with references or getting results from the credit checks.

5. They need to obtain multiple compensation approvals – for larger multi-national companies, this could mean getting approvals from higher-ups at the head office in a different country or branch of the business.

6. They need time to prepare a formal offer which may involve input from legal counsel.

7. The client may be in process of an offer to their first choice, and the second choice candidate needs to be “kept warm” in the event the first offer is not accepted.

How Delays Can Disadvantage the Hiring Company

  • The candidate may receive and accept another offer. If they are “A” talent, more than one client will be interested in them.


  • Taking too long can make your company look indecisive or disorganized and doubt could creep into a candidate’s mind about whether or not they want to work for your organization.


  • Hiring managers could lose the authorization to hire – a hiring freeze, change in management or budget or corporate mandate could muddy the situation.


  • No one wants to be considered the “second choice” and candidates may believe this is the case, whether it is true or not, and withdraw from the process.



How to Minimize Delays

The key to minimizing delays is to take the time to truly understand each required step in the hiring process, before beginning the search, as follows:

Step 1: Establish who needs to meet candidates, and in which order. Also, establish every step and all documentation required to complete a hire, such as:

Reference and/or background checks.

Compensation approval.

Contract language regarding Intellectual Property, Non-solicit clauses, Severance, etc.

Step 2: Reserve meeting times for each person that needs to meet the candidate, at the beginning of the search. If needed, it is much easier cancel a meeting and free a block of time in a senior executive’s calendar than it is to obtain one on short notice.

Step 3: Determine the maximum compensation package you can afford for this role at the beginning of the search. You will likely not need to pay the maximum, but trying to make this determination in the middle of negotiating with a candidate will cause delays.

Step 4: Enlist the assistance of your Recruiter. We have managed this process hundreds and hundreds of times. We know how to avoid and overcome obstacles. We are familiar with the challenges you face no matter how unique they may seem to you. Be transparent with us, and we will guide you to a successful hire.

Our Toronto headhunters and Vancouver Headhunters can work with you to improve your hiring process and help you find the top candidates in your industry. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. Contact us today.


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations and Mining & Engineering. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Mark Rouse Marketing Recruiter

Mark Rouse

Mark leads Canada’s largest Marketing Communications & Media recruitment practice. Leveraging close to two decades of industry experience in the Marketing Services and Agency businesses, he has been responsible for hiring, developing, and retaining top talent as Vice-President with companies such as Young & Rubicam, Wunderman, and J. Walter Thompson.

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