If real estate has "location, location, location" then recruitment should certainly coin "timing, timing, timing" for our industry!

Once, I had a candidate in final stages with a client on a Friday. I was buzzing about my weekend happy as a bee. Monday morning, I learn the hiring manager went to lunch over the weekend and bumped into someone that used to work for them at a different company, but they hadn't seen each other in 10 years. They got to talking about their current companies and decided the nearly-filled job was worth discussing with this person (who had also recently decided to consider new roles). After the hiring manager carefully considered some other recent staff transitions, he tweaked the parameters of the open job a little bit. Within 24 hours, they'd declined my candidate who was no longer completely qualified, and moved forward with an offer to the other person. HOW RANDOM IS THAT? A simple, chance meeting at lunch ON A WEEKEND changed the outcome of an entire search. TIMING, MUCH!?!?

I have often told outstanding candidates that sometimes they are the PERFECT candidate for a job, but timing gets in the way. If they are resume #104 and the recruiter closes the pool after reviewing 100, that company has never even seen their resume! And sadly for all, that company might hire a less qualified person as a result. The candidate shouldn't feel disheartened that maybe they weren't good enough for some reason, sometimes it really is just timing.

When was the job posted? How many internal candidates did they have before posting it to external candidates? Is this search extremely confidential or is it widely known that the job is available? How many candidates are currently in process and are they all at the same stage or varying stages of the interview process? What time of year is it? Holidays and vacations mean delays and these create missed opportunities in availability and interest from both a company and a candidate.

If I could offer any word of encouragement to a job-seeker, it would be to consider timing. Do what you can to eliminate delays. Be EXTREMELY quick to act on freshly posted positions - I mean apply that same day. If you hear a rumor about a job, learn who to contact in HR and contact them immediately! If you are getting declined for jobs or just never hearing back at all, remind yourself that timing was likely a huge factor in the decision. Beating yourself up over the jobs you didn't get won't leave you looking awesome for the next one.

Do you have any stories as a recruiter about how timing has impacted your searches? Or have you noticed as a job-seeker when timing was the reason for you getting (or not getting) a job?

Views: 142

Comment by Yonica S.Pimentel on November 15, 2010 at 3:33pm
Bad timing sucks! And it's unfortunate that some hiring managers already have someone in mind for a position before they call the recruiter, just to document that they officially searched for new hires.

It's the nature of the beast sometimes. And yes, job seekers shouldn't take it personally, they should take it as a forewarning. Knowing that their future employer has a tendency to jerk around recruiters and candidates is a warning sign. Disaster diverted!
Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on November 16, 2010 at 11:36am
Time kills all deals
Comment by Slouch on November 16, 2010 at 11:43am
Spoken like a true recruiter. I have said those exact words at least a few hundred times.
Comment by Relina De Dios Shirley on November 16, 2010 at 12:16pm
Definitely, it's all about timing for us!
Comment by Karie D'Amico on November 16, 2010 at 12:28pm
Yes! I had a timing nightmare! We were working with a new client on a temp to hire position for a squirrelly skill set and when we finally found a great candidate, who the report to manager loved, we got tangled in salary negotiations...enventually the client agreed to bring her on as a direct hire at the salary she wanted. I was ecstatic! We got her what she wanted and a great fit for them! So I called to tell her the great news and ... she had just received an offer for another position! UGH! We couldn't compete with the other offer and I learned a great lesson about candidate's hot buttons but I still think timing had a lot to do with it...
Comment by Jessica Nicholas on November 16, 2010 at 1:41pm
Thanks for the comments! Sorry to hear about your lost fill, Karie. That's incredibly frustrating, even for the manager who might have had to work pretty hard to wrangle out the salary that candidate needed.

Yonica, I think that recruiting just for the sake of creating the pool is THE WORST. Ugh. What a waste of time for all! However, I do think that candidates often get started in the recruitment process at various stages. Sometimes this can work out great for a later candidate but sometimes not. I think most good recruiters will tell you where you stand compared to other candidates and the process overall.
Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on November 16, 2010 at 3:12pm
ok let me say it again

Time Kills All Deals
Time Kills All Deals
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Time Kills All Deals
Comment by Jessica Nicholas on November 16, 2010 at 3:28pm
C.B. - I'm going to have to disagree with you in some cases. We've been very successful with creating a bench/pipeline recruitment process which is entirely focused on long-term, often long-time hiring processes. Our most recent hire had a span of 2 years between several introductory meetings with our client (no job immediately available) and his eventual offer (when the perfect job opened up). But, in the end, the client got the perfect candidate and that candidate got to move forward with their career at an employer of choice. However, creating a false illusion of expectations, whether it's time to hire, interest, benefits, pay will definitely kill all deals.
Comment by Paul Alfred on November 16, 2010 at 10:42pm
CB unfortunately hammered the phrase to death "Time kills deals" if the Recruiter loses control of the deal - Great post Jessica ... I had a situation on a offer for a Tax Consultant .. my client gave the candidate a week to make a decision I gave him 3 days as he was considering another offer - we went over reasons on why he could not make up his mind right now. In the end I had to tell him I would have to take the offer away and pass it along to the backup candidate ... If left to my Client they would have been faced with a possible turn down ... Sometimes we need to control the process when we can... Time can be a deal breaker .... Ok CB you're right ...:)
Comment by melissa versailles on November 17, 2010 at 1:54am
Love your post!

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