If you’ve been in the recruiting game long enough you’ve inevitably worked through the “this role (or offer) is now on hold” scenario.   Unfortunately, most candidates often interpreted this situation as the “It’s not you it’s me” of the dating scene.   However, recruiters and candidates alike must keep things in perspective at all times and be conscious of the fact that there are numerous steps and factors that make up the recruit-interview-hire process and that a single misstep can halt the entire cycle.  Not all hope is lost, a hold does not mean no, just not right now.

What can a candidate do when the offer is suspended?

First things first:  You can’t take it personally and you can’t let it get you down.  As mentioned above, there are numerous things that could go around and nearly all of those things are out of your control.   Accept that it’s not your fault and move to step two.

Secondly:  You have to do your best to determine what derailed the process and ultimately delayed your offer of employment.  Make use of the resources at your disposal and relationships you’ve developed throughout the interview process.  If a recruiter presented to the company, start by getting in touch with him/her to see what they know.  Your recruiter has a vested interested in making sure the job is filled and often have an inside track to the information your desire.  Also, if you’ve developed professional relationships with your interviewers throughout the interview process it may be appropriate to reach out to them to see if they can provide any insight or detail.  It’s been our experience that a delayed offer is often related to a material change in the company’s budget, sales figures or strategic direction.  Do what you can to investigate the matter and get to the source.

Thirdly:  If you’ve determined the source of the delay do what you can to remedy the situation without overstepping your boundaries.  If there’ nothing you can do, it’s important that you remain in contact with the company, your contacts and the recruiter but don’t end your search for a new role.  It’s good to keep the delayed offer in your back pocket but there’s no guaranty that the offer will rematerialize so don’t place your eggs in the one basket.   Continue to interview for other opportunities, hone your skills and build your references.

Below are a few resources that could help you with your search.

From Monster.comhttp://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/getting-started/when-a-job-offer-is-put-on-hold-hot-jobs/article.aspx

From About.comhttp://jobsearch.about.com/od/salary/a/job-offer-on-hold.htm