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.
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.