Double Dating on a Search Is Just Plain D-U-M-B…

It’s late in the search assignment– the offer is pending. Just as the sun will set in the west, you can almost predict the outcome. No relocation involved. Salary and bonus are both greater than what the candidate earns today – almost 18% more money. All good. The culture seems to be in order with what the candidate is looking for and the position itself is actually a promotion. There is a love-fest between my client and star candidate. It’s hard to script it any other way – it’s just perfect…. OH YEAH!

The client calls me and as predicted the offer is on the table and NO surprises. None. Time to call the candidate to share the good news. The call goes something like this:

Ring…Ring… Ring…Ring…

(Candidate) Hello

(Tolan) Hi Joseph – I have some good news! My client called and we have an offer! It’s exactly what we have been talking about and I would like to go over the details with you – is now a good time?

(Candidate) – Sure but I have some news for you too. I have another offer and I think I am going to accept it. I wanted to wait before I told you about it.

(Tolan) WHAAAAAAAT? What other offer? You never told me about other opportunities you were considering! When did you learn about this other opportunity – and how long were you going to wait before telling me?

(Candidate) I starting talking with them a few weeks before you contacted me and I really did not want to tell you until you had an offer for me so I could compare it to this one.

(Tolan) WHAT? Please help me understand what you just said…..

This (believe it or not) happens more often than I’d like to admit – and with very senior level executives. Playing the dating game is not wise for a variety of reasons.

1. You just burned a huge hole in the bridge with the trusted search professional you just led down a path fraught with deceit. It’s over – forever. Done.
2. Your credibility is shot. Actually – you have no credibility.

3. Your ethics have been challenged and you lost. You have no ethics and apparently it’s just all about you. You can’t hide those lying eyes.

4. The references you gave me all think you were taking a different job – so you have some explaining to do – mainly about credibility and ethics. Oh YEAH. You have stepped in it – big time.

Double dating (secretly) on a search assignment is just dumb.
Just plain D-U-M-B. Sorry…