The Recruiting Nightmare #7 – The Best Frayed Plans

So I’ve documented all the challenges of getting out a good job post, networking, sorting through resumes, and so forth.  It’s pretty heavy stuff, and if you don’t work in recruiting I hope you understand a little better what recruiters go through.

Once a recruiter gets out the right job posting, once they network, once they find the right person, eventually it’ll all work out right?  I mean you’ll find the right person and hire them?

Well, possibly.  Oh there’s the usual challenges – you may not be able to get to them in time, or there’s a competing offer, or whatever.  But eventually it’ll work out.

Maybe – until someone changes their mind.

Job posts and job openings aren’t open until filled.  They may close due to reorganization.  Money may get redirected.  Budgets may change.  Remember many places have quarterly budgets, and there’s no reason to assume that hiring is going to stay the same after the usual reassessment.

So a recruiter can watch all their hard work suddenly become irrelevant very quickly.  The money is gone, the reorg happened, and now two months of work goes kablooie in a puff of Powerpoint Presentations

Of course next month, or next quarter, or whatever you may have to start it all up again.  Which is pretty damn close to starting from scratch for many positions as you try and see what unhired people are available and don’t hate you.

Yes.  Part of recruiting is getting your work destroyed and starting over.

If you’ve ever done a job search and found openings were just close, or budgets changed, or whatever, you know what that’s like.  Now multiply that by several times and you see what recruiters have to deal with.

Not fun.


  • Move fast on positions.  Get resumes and letters out fast, follow up, and provide information promptly.  It’ll help you beat reshuffles and replanning.
  • Find the rhythm of hiring/not hiring in your area or chosen regions so you can see when to do your search and when things may reshuffle.


  • If you’re assisting a recruiter, offer the assistance fast – because they need to get things done before some change or reshuffling.
  • Recruiters who are helping you fill positions need the best information to justify them and help them survive any change of plans.
  • If you see any trends recruiters need to know, keep them informed.  Though they probably seem them before you, there’s times you’ll have insights they won’t.
  • If you’re on long-term projects, help recruiters at your company or that work on the project really understand upcoming talent needs.


  • I’d love to see a study on how turnover of plans affects strong hiring and long-term planning and stability.
  • What are the hiring patterns of the most successful businesses out there?  There may be clues in what the “normal” for these kind of plan rearrangements should be.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at