The hiring process is affected by many factors on both sides of the table. As a job seeker, you might find other job offers or change the focus of your search. Hiring managers might place jobs on hold for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is usually financial. Keeping open communication helps everyone stay in the loop about open positions.
Why Jobs Are Placed On Hold
Employers place jobs on hold for many reasons. If the quarterly reports show less income than expected, the company might not feel comfortable sinking money into an open position. It might be that an existing employee decided to go for the job, and she gets first dibs on it before they offer it to outside candidates. Or, the company might be going through restructuring, trying to decide how the open position best fits into the new structure.
Letter From Managers
If you've contacted candidates about a job that is now put on hold, it's respectful to send them an update on the position when the status changes. Often, you send the letter when you fill the position. But if you've put the position on hold, you can ask the candidates if they are interested in being contacted again when you're ready to move forward with hiring. This can cut down on the amount of time you spend selecting new candidates later.
Letter From Candidates
When you interview for a job that's put on hold before it's filled, sending a letter to the employer helps ensure you stay on their radar when the time to hire arrives. Stay positive and upbeat, listing a few details about why you would be a good fit with the company. You shouldn't badger them about a time frame; if they're holding the position for financial reasons, for example, the hiring manager isn't likely to have a timeline. But you can tell them if you have a time frame, such as to please contact you if the job opens within the next six months.
How Often To Follow Up
For managers, the initial letter saying the job is on hold is sufficient. Don't feel obligated to contact candidates again unless you're ready to hire, unless you want to send a short acknowledgement to candidates who continue to contact you. For candidates, however, keeping your name in front of the hiring manager can give you an edge when the job opens. Don't pester her, but send her quick emails every four to six weeks letting her know you're still interested. Share a recent accomplishment, such as a promotion at your current job or acceptance into a professional organization, so she knows you're not just sitting there waiting for the position at her company to open. She might not respond to all of your emails, but she will hopefully remember you when the new hiring round begins.
Based outside Atlanta, Ga., Shala Munroe has been writing and copy editing since 1995. Beginning her career at newspapers such as the "Marietta Daily Journal" and the "Atlanta Business Chronicle," she most recently worked in communications and management for several nonprofit organizations before purchasing a flower shop in 2006. She earned a BA in communications from Jacksonville State University.