Fire the Jerk and Take A Nice Trip - My Wishes for HR Pros in 2008.....
Employee Relations 101 - Has Your Morale Killer (Terrell Owens) Turned the Corner?

Hiring Manager Sabotage - What's It Mean When Hiring Gets Put on the Backburner?

Here's one I never get.  Hiring is critical at your company, and all parties are clamoring for candidates.  Like the progressive HR hack you are, you go get some candidates, get them phone screened and send sweet summaries to the hiring manager with recommendations.

Then you wait.  And nothing happens.  Then you follow up.  Once, Twice, etc.Oxy10

Finally the message comes back.  "This month's not good for me.  I should be more open at some point in February."

Excuse me?  This month?  What happened to the critical need?  The epic struggle for talent?

(Disclaimer - I've had my share of searches where I had much difficulty sourcing.  I take full responsibility for those.  I just don't get why hiring managers can de-prioritize interviewing for months at a time, right after the siren goes off to get positions filled.)

Here are some thoughts of why the hiring manager doesn't want to interview for another 30 days, after you got rung up in a staff meeting about open positions:

1.  We migrate to what we are good at, and they aren't good/comfortable with interviewing.

2.  They've got a big zit on their chin, and they figure that time frame should be right for it to clear with a steady regimen of OXY-10.

3.  They've got a little bit of martyr in them, and they like doing it all themselves.  Think delegation issues. 

4.  That canker sore in their mouth is painful, so they're going with activities that don't require talking.

5.  Not being fully staffed is a great reason for missing some objectives.  Why rush?

6.  The candidates you are providing don't fit their needs, and you are so domineering you haven't thought to ask for feedback, and there's no way they can bring it up to you without getting beheaded.

Out of these answers, I think #1 is the most probable reason for the delay in most circumstances.  Most hiring managers aren't you.  They don't interview for a living, and it's easier to de-prioritize it than to deal with it and get it over with.

But I'm keeping a tube of OXY-10 in my bag, just in case someone needs it....


HR Wench

I love it when the reason is #5 and then the hiring manager tries to tell their boss that they haven't filled the position because HR/Recruiting isn't sending them viable candidates. Enter my Outlook Sent Box. Now you're really in trouble!

Michael Homula

Humorous and insightful post today. I find that your point about hiring leaders not being equipped or comfortabl to interview is often a major killer of "urgent" talent needs and searches. Sadly, so many organizations continue to perpetuate the myth that if you are leading / doing the job then you can interview for it. Equally as sad is the lack of substantive interview training programs in corporate America. Most only scratch the surface of how to conduct a performance interview and spend most of the time on what is legal and what isn't.

Another issue that I see often with my clients and in my experience is the moving job specification syndrome. Every candidate you send suddenly changes the job spec. Service Level Agreements (SLA's) are the surest way to improve and eliminate the hurry up and wait mentality of most hiring leaders. Agreeing in advance on the rules of engagement, turn around times, performance needs, must have vs. wants etc. will make for a much more successful search and a better relationship between recruiter/HR and hiring leader.

Jay Lambert

I have a question: What if sabotage is from HR instead? My old position in the old company with my old boss has just opened up. He is very interested in having me back, and I'm interested in going back. So he asked HR to give me a call. That was a week ago. And nothing happened, they never call me. However, I just found out that they started interviewing candidates. So yesterday I emailed my old boss and he emailed me back, saying he's really interested in having me back but not sure why HR doesn't contact me. Is this a normal practice for companies? I was in that company for 8.5 years, and rated as top performer by 2 different bosses. This one is the third boss I worked for.
Would appreciate comments/feedback.


Hey Jay -

Two things at work here. It's certainly possible that the HR team at this company is in the way of you coming back to the company. However, here's the advice and counsel I would give you...

1. If the hiring manager really wants you back, he'll buck up and go ahead and have you in and tell HR who he wants to hire..., or...

2. The hiring manager doesn't really want to hire you. He's using HR as an excuse....

3. If the hiring manager does want to hire you, but HR isn't calling you in the initial stage, you should ask the hiring manager if that means that he's simply going to bring you in at the stage he starts interviewing candidates, at which point HR doesn't own the decision...

That's what I got for you - hit me with follow ups....

Thanks - KD

Jay Lambert

Hi Kris, thanks so much for responding. I agree with all your three points and they made a lot of sense to me.

Below are two email communication: 1) between me and the Hiring Manager two days ago(names changed), and 2) An email I received from HR just last night.
Would love to hear your feedback, although at this point I decided to back off and not pursue this.


From: "David"
To: Jay Lambert
Sent: Tue, June 15, 2010 4:28:19 PM
Subject: RE: Hello from Jay


Great to hear from you too. I will make sure Linda (note: HR) stays on this. Would love to figure out how to make this happen. Talk soon.



From: Jay Lambert
Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 4:04 PM
To: Dave
Subject: Hello from Jay

Hi Dave,

Trust that everything is well with you, Susie and the kids and the family is enjoying the city!

Sad to hear that *current assistant* is leaving, but was excited with the possiblity of working with you again. I ran into *Linda* earlier today and she told me that she received my resume and will circle back with me. Hopefully I hear from her soon as I understand the interview process has started for other candidates.

I'll keep you posted when that happens and look forward to seeing you again soon!



From: "Melanie"
To: Jay Lambert
Sent: Wed, June 16, 2010 6:24:54 PM
Subject: Company name

Hi Jay

*Linda* notified me that you reached out to her and are interested in the Executive Admin position supporting *Dave*. Due to the tight timeframe, we currently have a temp in place to support *Dave* and plan to operate in that capacity until further notice. If we move forward with active recruiting we will review all qualified candidates at that time.



Human Resources Generalist

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