What Does it Mean When a Job Position Is on Hold?

What Does it Mean When a Job Position Is on Hold?
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Have you ever been requested to wait till they get back to you after an interview? Just what does that entail, exactly? What do you think of it, good or bad?

To get a response from a potential employer after applying for a job, a week is the absolute most time to wait. After a month after your interview, you may presume the employer has opted not to hire you.

Of course, there are also situations when a company hires someone else before getting back to you. This may occur if the company is eager to replace the vacant position quickly. Or perhaps they are holding out for further applicants to apply.

Whatever the case, you may rest easy knowing everything is well. The hiring committee is still thinking about you!

If you haven’t heard anything after a month, it might be because your resume didn’t match their requirements. It’s not as good as some other applicants, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

This article will cover what it means when a job position is on hold, how long employers take to make hiring decisions, and if there’s any way you can speed up the process.

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What does “position on hold” mean?

A corporation usually means to temporarily halt the recruiting process when it claims it is “putting a position on hold.” This usually only has an impact on the potential employee.

But the recruiting team may decide they want to start again with a new round of candidates. There are various reasons to suspend work, such as:

  1. Budget: A large corporation might have a fixed budget, and a smaller one might have no set amount allocated each quarter. Small businesses often need budgets. Both types of companies can experience sudden changes in their finances.
  2. Company culture: If a company has a laid-back atmosphere, employees might feel comfortable asking questions about salary and benefits without fear of reprisal. On the flip side, some companies are very strict about confidentiality and will punish anyone who breaks the rules. In either case, it’s important to understand what type of environment you’ll work in before accepting a job offer.
  3. Job description: Sometimes, a company will hire someone for a specific role within a department but later realize that they want to fill the position differently.
  4. Client/Project: An employee might be working on a project that falls apart. Or, they could be hired to help a client build a new product. The company must ensure they have enough resources to complete the project.
  5. Other positions: Some companies will temporarily hold a position because they are looking for other people to fill out the rest of the team.

How long do employers take to make a hiring decision?

The time it takes to make a hiring decision depends on several factors. For example, if a company hires many people yearly, it will likely need more time to find the right person. On the other hand, if they hire only two or three people per year, they probably will only need a little time to decide.

The most common reason hiring managers take so long to decide is that they wait for client and colleague feedback. They know that they need input from others before making a final decision.

However, sometimes, the hiring manager is immediately aware of outside opinions. Instead, they are simply taking longer to decide whether or not to move forward with the application.

Exactly what roles get put on hold?

A lot of people need to learn why roles go on hold. They think it happens because someone else got the job. But the truth is that there are many reasons why a part might go on hold.

Sometimes the client needs more information; sometimes, they want to see how you handle a particular challenge; sometimes, they need a break. Whatever the reason, here’s what we know about roles going on hold.

  1. You’re Not Available. The most common reason a role goes on hold is that the person who originally accepted the position is absent. This could be due to personal circumstances, such as family illness or work commitments.
  2. A Client Needs More Information. Sometimes a client wants more information before accepting a role. Maybe they’ve been told about another opportunity and want to compare notes. Or they may need time to decide whether they want to hire you. In either case, give them plenty of notice.
  3. There Are Too Many Choices. If a client says they need more time to choose among several options, they may mean that they need to put off making the decision. Don’t jump to conclusions. Give them ample time to make a choice. After all, you never know which one they’ll pick.
  4. The Role Has Changed. If you were hired to fill a specific role, but the client later decides that the position has changed, they may tell you that they can no longer offer you the job.
  5. You Need to Meet Their Expectations. This is a tricky situation. On the one hand, you should always try to meet expectations. That’s what makes you valuable. However, you must live up to expectations to avoid losing the client forever. So, be honest and open if you can talk to the client after they say that they can’t offer you the job.
  6. The Project Wasn’t What They Expected. When a client tells you that they weren’t expecting a certain type of project, it could mean they want to rethink the project’s scope. Or it could mean that they wanted to hire someone else. Either way, it’s important to understand that you shouldn’t assume anything.

How to Respond When a Job Offer Is Deferred

We’ve all heard horror stories about employers giving a job candidate a formal job offer only to rescind it later. Sometimes, this happens because the person being offered the position doesn’t meet the qualifications for the role; sometimes, it’s because the person gets hired elsewhere.

Whatever the reason, it’s never fun to hear that your dream job suddenly isn’t yours anymore. But what do you do next? Here are some tips for dealing with a job offer on hold.

If You’re Given A Formal Job Offer

First, job seekers must understand why the offer was rescinded after the application process. Was it because you didn’t pass the interview? Did the hiring manager realize he had made a mistake? And most importantly, did you learn anything important during the interviewing process?

These questions will help you determine whether you want to continue pursuing this opportunity.

Next, ask yourself how much time you have left to apply for jobs. This information will help you decide whether you want to wait for another opportunity or if you’d rather take action now.

If You Are Not Given A Formal Job Offer

The good news is that you can only accept a job offer if you get one. Many people turn down suggestions they feel aren’t worth taking. So, if you won’t accept the job, you’ll probably be fine. However, if you like the opportunity, it’s still possible to negotiate a better deal. For example, you could work part-time while getting paid full-time or receive a signing bonus.

Once you’ve determined the best course of action, it’s time to move forward. Start applying for other positions immediately. Remember, you don’t want to give up too soon—if you keep looking, you could land a great job.

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How to Respond If Your Employer Ghosts You

The most common reason employers ghost candidates are because they’ve run out of money. However, there are other reasons why an employer might pull the plug on a job offer.

These include changing priorities, a shift in strategy, or simply deciding that someone else is better suited for the role. Whatever the case, it’s important to know how to handle the situation gracefully. Here are some steps to take when the employer does not follow up with you about a job opportunity:

  • Be patient and keep calm
  • Follow up and stay in touch
  • Make yourself indispensable
  • Look for alternative opportunities
  • Don’t burn bridges
  • Don’t get discouraged and take control
  • Find a mentor and network
  • Ask for feedback and learn from others’ mistakes


So, there you have it. “On hold” can mean several different things regarding job applications – from the company being overwhelmed with candidates to taking a break in their hiring process.

And while it’s not the most encouraging news to receive, it doesn’t necessarily mean your application has been rejected.

The best way to know for sure is to reach out and ask the employer directly. If you’re feeling stuck or need help crafting the perfect resume, our team of expert resume writers is here to help.

Reach out today, and we’ll get you started on creating a document that will increase your chances of getting hired for the job you want.

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