As business matchmakers, we keep the economy moving by fitting the best candidates for each client. However, there are times when just as soon as both parties are ready to say “I do,” a project is delayed, and you’re left managing the after-effects of cold feet.
When the environment changes and projects shift, this is probably the trickiest area to manage. As long as there is a reasonable chance the project will go forward, you must strike the right balance to keep both parties engaged. Your relationships are vital to your businesses success, so you must step up communication and focus on maintaining your positive reputation with both the candidate and the client.
Because great talent can’t always be replaced, keep extra contact with both the candidate and the client and present the new, realistic timeline. The most important thing to do is to communicate; the sooner you convey the particulars about the project’s future, the better. People are usually frustrated by a delay and impatient for answers, so they will turn to you. This is when they need to know that although project timelines may have changed, you still consider them important and have them top-of-mind. Continued correspondence has a calming impact and reminds both candidate and client of your attention.
During the delay, be sure you fully understand the requirements of the role where you are placing the talent. If the candidate needs any specialized testing or pre-employment screening, now is an excellent opportunity to suggest it. Depending on the length of the delay, there may be time for the candidate to increase his or her marketability with additional education, such as the many certificate courses available to help a candidate become more valuable and desirable, including networking skills, software / hardware, information systems security, interactive media and project management.
Above all, keep a positive attitude! Then, when the project picks back up, it will be up to you to nudge both the candidate and the client on track and get them back together.