How Long is Too Long to Wait for the Right Hire?


Hiring is one of the most important functions at your company. So when you find the right-fit candidate for a role, you want them on board, making an impact, as quickly as possible. But what if that individual won’t commit right away? They have the experience, the qualifications, and the personality…and yet, they’re undecided about your offer. How long do you wait? Or should you simply cut them loose?

The Pros

As a manager, you’re only as good as the people around you. It therefore makes perfect sense you want to wait so you can hire the best person for the role. On top of that, the cost of bringing the wrong person on board is high. While it varies depending on the job and its salary, mistakes have a significant impact on productivity, morale and other critical areas.

When you have a candidate who needs time to commit, it can actually be a good sign that they want to ensure the role is right for them. Giving them a little space to think it over will actually help them to make the best decision and ensure you don’t make a costly hiring mistake.

On the flip side, there’s no such thing as the perfect hire and waiting too long brings with it some cons too:

The Cons

  • Losing other candidates to competitors. When the hiring process takes too long, your second and third pick candidates will likely accept offers elsewhere. As a result, you’ll be left with weaker candidates or having to ramp up the recruiting process once again.
  • Lower productivity while you wait. As you’re waiting to hire, productivity is going to take a hit as more and more days pass with the role vacant. If existing employees are covering in the meantime, this can lead to burnout, stress and more mistakes on the job, further impacting productivity.
  • A poor reflection on your company. For those other candidates who are a great fit, but not your top selection, a slow hiring process reflects poorly on your company. They’re going to see it as a sign of how the organization operates. Not only will they take themselves out of the running, but they might not apply to future opportunities either as a result.

Waiting is always a gamble. But sometimes it’s worth the risk. Just don’t wait so long to hire that you lose out on other top candidates. To avoid this, extend the offer and let your first choice know you need a decision within a certain time period; for instance, one week. That way, whether they decide to accept or not, you can continue to move the hiring process forward within a timely manner.

Need more help finding leading candidates, faster?

As Kansas City headhunters, we know where to source top-quality talent for positions in a range of fields, from accounting and finance to IT, sales and marketing, and more. We’ll interview them carefully before recommending them and follow up to ensure an ideal fit. Contact Morgan Hunter today to learn more.