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Researchers: Don’t make your exploding job offer too explosive

(nito103 / Depositphotos.com)

(nito103 / Depositphotos.com)

Sometimes, companies in a rush to hire an employee may use job offers with unreasonably short deadlines for acceptance — called exploding offers — in order to force an employee to choose quickly. How can that affect the hiring process?

University of Virginia professor Saša Zorc and European Institute of Business Administration professor Ilia Tsetlin looked to game theory, using a mathematical model to figure out the effects of exploding job offers.

Their recommendations: If a shortened deadline is the best strategy for hiring, make it only as short as is socially acceptable. If a tight deadline would cause negative psychological and behavioral effects in the prospective hire, don’t use it.

If you’re in a situation where your firm is likely to be able to respond to other offers the employee receives, an exploding offer may make more sense. But in cases where the chances of the job seeker getting other offers, or the value of those offers can change over time, a longer deadline is better.


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