Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Prospective employer taking time to roll out job offer

From a reader:

I was interviewed for a middle management role with an MNC. Two rounds of management interviews went relatively fast, but the HR response came a bit slow. After couple of weeks, a junior HR rep called me with some queries and later asked me to fill up my details in an Employment Form. It’s been two weeks now and I have no confirmation/rejection reply from the company. I have been following up with the company and the responses are:

"It’s in the process of approval and is going positively"
"Our Head of Staffing will set up a call with you and then roll out the offer etc"

From your experience with HR, does it take so much of time (3 weeks) after I fill up the employment form before I get an offer or is something wrong here? I have couple of other offers but this is the most tempting one. So I was just wondering what to do as I am not getting any solid information from this company.


Well, I would relate back to my previous post for a couple of things.

First, there really isn’t a fixed time frame for a company to revert with an offer. Or even for that matter, to finish the interview process. It depends on the system that works best for them. I’ve known people who have got offers after four months of attending interviews! Really. It’s worked for them, since they weren’t really interested in a job change and had time on their hands. But, it doesn’t seem to be the same in your case, since you mention about a couple of other offers in your hands. About the time frame, yes, typically three weeks is considered a lot of time to make a decision. More so, if the role is of high criticality to their projects.

Another possibility could be that they are meeting other candidates before taking a final decision. Maybe the hiring manager wants to meet a few more candidates, before deciding on your candidature. Most hiring managers depend on data that indicates comparative degrees of competencies among candidates, to make a final decision.

About the responses, they could even be telling you the truth. Really. Most companies do have an approval process that involves people across various departments (business, HR, finance, etc.,) and geographies. This could be causing an unnecessary delay. But, their second response doesn’t seem right. If they indeed have the approvals and want to roll out the offer, they have a head of staffing who is really lazy and hasn’t sensed the urgency of the situation. It’s possible.

Here are a couple of things you could try now, to get more information:

1: You could check with the hiring manager directly. Most often, communication takes time to flow in the organization. The best way to get info is to go to the source of the information. Write him a mail asking for an update and also keep him informed about the discussion you’ve had with HR.

2: Did you get the other offers while you were interviewing with this MNC? If yes, have you told them that you already hold an offer? Not for anything, but to tell them you are really keen to work for them. In my experience, most companies expedite the offer process the moment they figure out the selected candidate has another offer. On the contrary, they’ll at least let you know that they need time. You can then make your decision.

Finally, I like to believe that you took up the other interviews since something about both those companies (role/compensation/benefits/perks/culture, etc.) interested you. Now, you need to answer for yourself, what is it about the MNC that makes the offer tempting? If there’s not much of a difference between them and the others, I would suggest you take up an offer in hand, rather than wait for an offer that might or might not happen.

Good luck!