Two and a half weeks ago I was offered a position within a global organisation, verbally, over the phone by the head hunter and told the contract would arrive early the next week.

Ten days later and with no contract I contacted the recruiters, no response but by chance the HR department called me and explained the offer, then they confirmed the role and details ( salary, pension, car, holiday etc ) by email and told me that the recruitment department had been instructed to send out a contract straight away -"should be with you within 48 hrs".

One week later and despite a polite call to the HR partner enquiring about a start date no response and to be honest I am getting very frustrated.

How long is it reasonable to wait and at what point do I need to just 'move on', the job is ideal for me and I am obviously going through huge ups and downs over this.

  • Is the head hunter employed by the company or are they an outsourced firm? When you say you contacted the "HR Partner", that, again, sounds like it's a third party company. Have you actually spoken with the company that's going to employ you?
    – NotMe
    Jun 2, 2015 at 23:10
  • Yes I have spoken to both parties. The Head Hunter is a third party. The HR Partner is the organisations official representative for management recruitment, i.e., he works for them, it is also the person I have the email from ( from the organisations official email address ). I appreciate that I should keep looking but wondered at what point I stop considering the role. Its easy to say forget it and move on when it is not your ideal role in the balance ! As I am finding out.
    – user36649
    Jun 3, 2015 at 9:18

4 Answers 4


Different companies will take different amounts of time to respond - some are prompt, some won't get back to you for one or two months while they clear various HR hurdles, and they run the gamut between those two extremes.

At this point, you should continue to look for work in other places until you have a solid confirmation that you have the job - until you do, there's still a chance that something might happen and you won't get hired officially.

It's also not considered overly rude to call back if you're concerned about the process being stalled. Two weeks is usually a good time period to wait before contacting them, especially if you were expecting some type of contact within that timeframe. Whatever you do though, do not be rude. The hiring process can get complicated quickly, and you should be courteous to them throughout it.


I would recommend that you not stop interviewing and pursuing other jobs. Until you actually started getting paid, you are still unemployed.

I once ended up waiting 3 months to start a job. (That was a very long time ago, I'd never wait that long now). Sure, I eventually got the job, after everyone got back from vacation and got around to signing everything that needed to be signed, etc, etc. But in the meantime I might have gotten another job so unless this is one that you absolutely must have, don't stop chasing other possibilities.

And just because they say they are going to hire you, that doesn't translate to any kind of guarantee. A couple of years ago I interviewed and was offered the job and they gave me a two week start date. After two weeks they said that my future supervisor was called out of town and my start date was going to be delayed a week. At that point I went back to interviewing. Really glad I did. They never did hire me, although even months after I started another job (just for kicks I never told them I was already working) they were still telling me they still wanted me but there was a hiring freeze...there was a reorganization...it was kind of comical, in a way.


Normally it's within a week. Even with slow reference responses and background check factored in I think 2-3 business days is common. If it's more than a week I would think that they don't really want me and are still debating what to do or that they're unreliable.


Inform this company you have received a competing offer and would like theirs to see which position to take. It doesn't matter if you have a competing offer or not, this at least forces their hand such that they put their money where their mouth is (e.g. extend you an offer) or finally come clean that you are not their first choice or there is some manner of holdup in getting the offer (e.g. budget was not approved, etc.). In my experience, if you want to move the process forward, this will achieve that without you coming off as desperate or upset.

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