Let’s say a job offer is made to a lawyer and they want to take a week or a prolonged period to think it over, should a law firm let them do it? If not, what is the appropriate amount of time to let a candidate consider whether to accept a job offer?
Ultimately, every situation is a little bit different. But here are some considerations law firms should consider:
1.) The big one is how much imminent is the need for the new lawyer or staff member. Sometimes, a lawyer may have departed and you need a lawyer to fill that spot immediately to service the firms’ clients. In this situation, a law firm probably cannot wait long.
2.) One also has to ask about all the candidates who have been interviewed and are waiting for an answer. If there are numerous other individuals who have applied, been interviewed and are waiting, it is not fair to keep all of these individuals waiting too long for an answer from one person. Many of these folks will be calling and emailing looking for an update.
3.) If a candidate has to take a prolonged period-of-time to think about accepting the position, one does have to question their enthusiasm. Before they applied, and certainly during the interview process, candidates have had a long time to think about how much they want this position. They presumably have had the chance to ask some questions and talk to their loved ones about the opportunity. If they need a lot of time, do they really want this position?
So, while candidates may need to take a little time to think about a job offer, the question again is how long do you let them think it over? Do you let them take a prolonged period?
Every law firm might have their own rules of thumb. But, in a general sense, a 24 to 48-hour window is probably what makes sense for most law firms
During that 24 to 48-hour window, the candidates can ask the questions they want to ask. They can also talk to their loved ones or consider whatever other job offers they have. But if the candidate cannot give a definitive answer within that time-frame, most law firms are best advised to move on to their second choice.
If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.