What To Do if the Job You Applied for Is on Hold

When an employer says a position is on hold, it typically means that they are halting the hiring process for a period of time. This usually doesn’t reflect on the candidates who are in consideration for the job, although there is the possibility that the hiring manager wants to start over with a new pool of applicants.

Most of the time, it’s not your fault if a job offer is suspended or even withdrawn. When you learn about a hiring freeze or your job offer is put on hold, there are some things you can do to keep moving forward (regardless of the situation), even though you may be out of a job.

#JobSearchTip – what to do when the job is “on hold”?

What does “position on hold” mean?

When a company says a position is on hold, it usually means that they are temporarily pausing the hiring process. Although it’s unlikely that this reflects poorly on the applicants under consideration for the position, it’s possible that the hiring manager wants to start over with a fresh batch of candidates. The following are the main reasons a company might choose to put a position on hold:

Steps to take if a position you applied for is on hold

No matter where you are in the hiring process, an employer has the right to put a job on hold. If you learn that a job you applied for is on hold, take the following actions:

1. Continue searching for positions

Keep looking for work despite the possibility that the position won’t ever be filled, or at least not soon enough. No matter how excited you were about the job, you don’t want to miss out on other good opportunities for a position that might not materialize. When looking for a job, it’s crucial to be motivated. If you put your search on hold before receiving a job offer and learning that the position will move forward, you might need to find new motivation.

Tell your contact that you have received a job offer if you are fortunate enough to do so before you hear from the first employer about the position that is on hold. They might take your name off the list of candidates or be interested in you enough to talk to you about how you can still work for the organization.

2. Let the employer know of your continued interest

Make sure the hiring manager is aware of your continued interest in the position and desire to be considered when they deliver the bad news. You can demonstrate your desire to work for the company by checking in to see if the status of the position has changed.

3. Dont take it personally

Try not to take this sudden news personally. It’s likely that the company put the position on hold for reasons outside of your control and, most likely, the hiring manager’s control as well. The most likely scenario is that the company won’t be able to hire you or any other applicants at this time due to budget constraints or a restructuring. When the employer contacts you with the news, act professionally and convey your understanding.

4. Ask for a timeframe

Consider asking the hiring manager when they anticipate the position to become available again so you can better define your own direction. If your position is being funded by a grant and the company is taking a while to receive the funds, the hiring manager may simply be waiting for the company’s biggest client to pay a significant invoice. In these situations, the hiring manager might expect to only have to wait a week or two.

However, for larger company issues, you might learn that the position has been put on indefinite hold, which could alter what you should do next. Remember that your contact might decide to withhold information regarding the start date of the position.

5. Check in with your contact

If you are still interested in the opportunity, note the anticipated timeframe so you can inquire about the status of the position with the hiring manager then. Avoid following up too frequently because doing so might make the hiring manager doubt your suitability for the position.

6. See if there is an opportunity to work as a contract employee

The cost of hiring a full-time employee is typically higher for the business than hiring a professional on a contract basis. This is due to the fact that full-time employees have access to benefits that independent contractors do not, costing the business money. If there are any opportunities to carry out some of the same types of work on a freelance basis, inquire with your contact at the company. Even though the business might not currently have enough money to hire someone full-time, they might have some extra funds to pay for someone with the right skills and enthusiasm for the company.

7. Seek to understand the reasoning

Understanding the factors that might cause an employer to put a position on hold is useful. You can feel more at ease and continue to be confident in your job search if you understand that the change in the position status has nothing to do with you. Knowing the cause can also help you decide how to approach the employer.

For instance, if you learn that the hiring manager needs to review the job description, you might consider letting them know that you’d be interested in reviewing any updates so you can demonstrate how you might still be qualified for the position.

You might also find that only the specific position you applied for is on hold. If so, take a look at the remaining open positions to see if there is one that you are qualified for and would be interested in.

8. Thank the employer for their communication

It’s crucial to maintain your composure and extend a sincere thank you to anyone who contacts you regarding the position. Express your gratitude for their willingness to be so open and honest about the position.


Why would a job position be put on hold?

Budgetary considerations or the failure of an important project, product, or initiative are some of the frequent causes for delaying the acceptance of a job offer. Unexpected restructuring that could result in layoffs, the company being acquired, or the area where you were going to be responsible for work being paused

How do you respond to a position on hold?

Gupta advised being gracious and thanking them for their time and for letting you know. Being honest is also advised by Roby, who provides a rough outline of how to phrase your response: “I understand these things happen, but I just want to genuinely let you know how much I enjoyed the process and I’m disappointed that it’s on hold.

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