Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Waiting game

Several years ago I was flown in for a job interview on a Friday. It went very well, I got along great with the ND, we had a lot in common. He dropped me off at the airport and said, "I'll definitely be calling you with a decision on Monday."

I flew home knowing it wasn't gonna happen.

Monday, no call. Tuesday, no call. The rest of the week, no call.

I'd seen this game before. They want to see how desperate you are. If you call, they know you really, really want the job, and will take less money to get it.

So I waited and didn't call. Even though I really, really wanted the job.

Week two, no call.

At this point I moved on, figuring he'd hired someone else.

Week three, no call. I'd kinda forgotten about it. I went on vacation.

Then I got the call and the job offer.

So what's the deal with the waiting game? Why does this scenario play out time and again? Why do NDs say they'll call on a certain date, tell you they have to make a decision immediately, and then make you endure more delays than if you were flying out of the Atlanta airport?

Let's go down the possible reasons:

-The desperation search. See story above.

-They made a decision to hire you, kicked it up to corporate for approval, and are waiting for some beancounter to rubber stamp things. Corporate people don't move fast in this business, especially if the station is part of a large group. You're not on the front burner.

-They're waiting for the results of a drug test, background check, or both.

-They're checking references.

-They're saving money. Divide the salary by 52 weeks, and every week they stall, they're saving that much.

-They can't make up their damn minds. GMs can gum up the works like you wouldn't believe. And so can consultants.

-If it's the middle of summer, there's no real rush to hire since the next sweeps period is in November.

-A big breaking story got in the way. If you're applying for a job in Memphis right now, you're not even on the back burner. You're not even on the stove.

So it's not you, it's them. This is very, very common and happens to my clients all the time. It has happened to me numerous times.

It's hard to put this out of your mind when you're up for a job, but you have to. It's just the way the business works.


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