The Offer That Was Accepted – Then Blew Up!

OK – I have cetainly seen my fair share of strange events in my search practice. No doubt. Just when I think I’ve seen it all a new phenomenon occurs right in front of me to bring me back to the realities of this business. I only wish I could make this stuff up!

Here’s the scoop. A senior level candidate accepted an offer from a client of mine for a VP slot. Big money, big responsibility – big job! The stars were lined up. She was taking a week or so off between assignments to help her daughter move into her apartment nearby. I, too, have helped my kids move on more than one occasion and know too well what it takes to move from point A to point B.  Sometimes it takes a couple of days to get the job done, but a week? Her new boss (my client) called her and asked her to meet him for lunch before her start date to go over a few things, talk about her new team and set the stage for her big start date.

Seems fair – right? WRONG!

She blew up. I mean blew up! She was not interested in meeting him for lunch. NOPE. She stated she was moving her daughter for the next week (WHAAAA?) and would not be available to meet until her start date (in a couple of weeks).  Couple of weeks? WHAT?

She went on to say “If you are asking me to meet with you before my start date you may not be the right company for me.” OMG! I could see the whole deal going up in flames – fast. My client thought about her comments for what seemed like 2-3 seconds and replied, “You are correct – this is not the right company for you.”   He withdrew the offer immediately. He asked me to re-start the search while my (former) candidate continued helping her daughter with her big marathon move. OH NOOOOOO! I crawled under my desk and laid in the fetal position for what seemed like hours trying to make sense of what had just happened.

Just when you think you have figured it out? This business will humble you every single time. Go figure.

I need to get back to work. Sorry.  🙁

About the author


Tim Tolan

Tim Tolan is the Senior Partner of the Healthcare IT and Services Practice of Sanford Rose Associates. He has conducted searches for CEOs, presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents of business development, product development and sales. Tim is also the co-author of "The CEO’s Guide to Talent Acquisition – Finding Talent Your Competitors Overlook," available on Amazon.