Our client had just let go a VP after only four months on the job… and that’s a big deal for a $50 million company… the guy had made two or three major mistakes with one of their larger customers and it was plain the guy wasn’t going to make their company better… so they fired him.
They called us and, over a period of four weeks, interviewed a number of very qualified candidates… after a number of lengthy interviews they came to the conclusion that Joe, one of our candidates, was the most qualified to do the job so they sent Joe to visit with the CEO
Everyone in the company was so afraid of making a mistake, they were thinking of all kinds reasons that it “wouldn’t work” with just about every candidate we presented… including Joe. The CEO was no different and felt like, even though Joe could do an excellent job for the company, he wasn’t as charismatic as they might like. So, the CEO decided to pay a retained search firm to do a nationwide search for possibly a more qualified, more charismatic candidate. They explained their situation to Joe in a very business, but kind way. They did not tell him it was his charisma they were concerned about. They simply told him they felt like they needed to talk to other candidates.They made it clear that the answer wasn’t “no,” it was just “not now.”
Joe wasn’t wild about the decision but he had a good job and although he was disappointed, he was smart enough not to burn any bridges. After four months of the “search,” at least they admitted they hadn’t found any candidate better than Joe, so now they are ready to engage with Joe again.
We don’t know if Joe will get the job or not… hopefully he will… he should, because he is very qualified. Here is the lesson. When Joe was told that he was not going to be hired, he didn’t get upset or pissed off or let his pride get in the way by saying something stupid like, “okay you guys, forget me as a candidate…” Joe was smart. He was very graceful about being told “no.” He wrote everybody in the company whom he interviewed with that he understood about them wanting to do a nationwide search to compare and then expressed the thought that if they didn’t come up with a great candidate he would love to still consider the opportunity.
He left the door open for them to reconsider him. By being graceful and smart he gave himself an advantage. Most candidates wouldn’t have done that. They would have “taken their ball and gone home.” I guess there’s a chance that Joe may not take the job even if it’s offered…and it hasn’t been offered. But the point is Joe was smart enough to leave the door open even though he was faced with refusal… at least for the moment.
Good job Joe!