Don’t Forget Who Took You to The Dance…

Recently, I was (remember that word) working with a very strong HCIT candidate on a search assignment. Everything was going well until we reached a point in the search when it was time for my candidate to meet my client – in person. Then – like magic my superstar disappeared. When I left messages for this (former) candidate of mine (by choice) none of my calls were returned. When I had my debrief call with my client on the interview, I had nothing to share. And, I mean absolutely nothing. This candidate, if hired, would probably be a “no-show”. I would put money on it!

This superstar had so much confidence (cocky) in “getting the offer” on the first date – a decision was made (apparently) that my services were no longer needed and flying solo was a better strategy.  Bad move. Really bad move.   My client had multiple questions and concerns about a number of things that were covered in the interview. My (former) candidate was simply clueless about how a search assignment works AND – had an inflated sense of self. After a week or so I finally received a return phone call from this genius who was shocked to find out that my client had decided to move on.

“Are you surprised?” “Really?”

If you are working with a search professional who contacts you regarding a search assignment – by all means don’t forget how you got to the dance. It’s not only bad form – it’s just plain unprofessional. Oh, I almost forgot. It’s actually really dumb. I will never work with this candidate (ever) again and doubt many search professionals will either. Then again – it probably doesn’t matter.

Nope. It doesn’t!

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.


  • Hi Tim
    I have seen this same thing happen twice this year to really good candidates that had both been working in the same organization for 20+ years. Their inexperience interviewing and working with recruiters kept them both from better opportunities and more money.
    Best -Joe

  • That’s too bad Joe. And, i know you are a great coach – and I too coached this candidate during the search. Here’s the problem, Some of these candidates are inexperienced (I agree) but some are just too arrogant and don’t feel like anybody knows more than they do (on any subject)!
    This brilliant superstar is 0 for 1 with me – and we’re done! Not a great batting average. Thanks Joe.

  • Arrogance = biggest career limiter! We should write a post on some others… Ignorance, laziness, failure to network…. but arrogance will get candidates thrown out every time!

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