High Pressure Hiring
High Pressure Hiring
Both job seekers and recruiters know that over the course of the last few years, the job market has gone from a buyer’s market to a seller’s one. The talent shortage is intensifying. Employers are finding it more and more difficult to fill open positions with top candidates. Time-to-fill rates are getting higher. Line managers are putting more pressure on recruiters to get the talent the company needs to reach its goals.

When this happens, you start to see some aggressive recruiting tactics come into play. Getting creative is one thing, but desperation is another. One of the hallmarks of desperate recruiting is the use of high-pressure tactics in the hiring process. Here are a few of the most common ones:

A rushed interview process. Typically, candidates become aggravated by long, drawn out, protracted interview processes. But in a tight job market, and particularly with less “traditional” companies (think startups, for example), the interview process might be rushed and crammed together. Some things to be on alert for:
  • They contact you to tell you that they’ve scheduled an interview, without having first consulted you to a) vet your interest or b) check your availability.
  • Pushing for same-day interviews, and making their availability your problem.
  • Seeming surprised, disappointed, or unaccommodating when you request more time.
Timeshare interviewing. If you’ve ever gotten sucked into a presentation about purchasing a timeshare, you know what I’m talking about. You get the sense that the interviewer is really trying to sell you on the job, rather than taking the time to learn about you or to discuss what the current business needs are. It’s as if all he’s concerned with is getting a warm body into a cubicle. He is all about closing the deal, and not about making the best possible hire. There is no discussion about the culture or the challenges of the job. You can probably smell the scent of desperation wafting off of him.

The exploding job offer. In Mission Impossible, the tape or disc (depending on whether you are watching the 1960s TV show or the 1990s franchise film) is set to self-destruct within X seconds of being played. It is the same thing with an “exploding offer.” The company issues the offer, but then gives the candidate a ridiculously tight time frame in which to make a decision. “Here’s our offer. You have 48 hours to decide whether or not to accept it.” This puts unreasonable pressure on candidates to make decisions and can result in candidates accepting offers they would not otherwise have agreed to. If your offer is an exploding offer, consider it a warning of things to come.

The bottom line

High-pressure hiring tactics are little more than a corporate bluff. If you are a strong candidate who is in demand, no potential employer has leverage over you. Call their bluff, and don’t allow yourself to be bullied.