WorkWise: Why recruit and not hire?

11/26/2013 11:18 AM

11/26/2013 11:21 AM

Job hunters often don’t understand why employers don’t hire them. Some recruitment efforts fall flat for a number of reasons. Applicants may assume they lacked qualifications or fit, when the reasons for not hiring at all may be unrelated to them.

A budget that didn’t materialize doesn’t reflect on the applicant any more than does an internal promotion. Assigning deleterious practices, though, to employers, such as attempts to enhance the positioning of a business, may be justified. George Bradbury, founder of Bradbury & Partners Executive Mortgage Recruiting LLC in Atlanta, Ga., mentions that some “businesses use hiring as a way to market the business. ... They collect resumes via email or online form submissions, which quickly find their way to the circular file – a strategy that can also make them look busy (or may contribute to SEO).”


What other motivators keep employers from hiring after they expend resources on recruiting, screening and/or interviewing? Do they know what they’re doing? They could be learning during the interview process, according to Lori Kleiman, founder of Lori Kleiman HR in Glenview, Ill. Having interviewed for 25 years, she maintains that a new job description may be in the works “if the hiring manager keeps drilling down ... on one specific part of your experience.”

Small-business owners may not be that different. Ira Wolfe, owner of Success Performance Solutions in Lancaster, Pa., screens candidates for small businesses and finds that many owners “don’t really have clear qualifications or expectations. They feel they’ll know the right candidate when they see him or her.” He also attributes not hiring in some cases to lack of confidence.

Changes in the business may prompt them to re-think what they need, he points out. If they’re looking for a sales engineer, which function should they emphasize? If they land an account, they may decide they need less sales experience in a sales engineering position and more engineering to manage the account. Wolfe would rather see small-business owners develop clarity at the outset and “be crystal clear about their expectations for the new hire. ...”

Another internal problem arises with disagreements over “the job and the requirements to fulfill it,” reports Don Maruska, chief development officer of Take Charge of Your Talent Inc. in Morro Bay, Calif. Maruska explains that the people involved are essentially hunting for multiple people to fill multiple positions.

“Since hiring managers don’t want to bring someone on board when others in the organization feel unsettled,” he remarks, “the recruitment craters and people who could be good for the job get lost in conflicting views.”

Attorneys accustomed to working independently may conduct a search before obtaining authorization from executive management, which, in the case of large firms, may be in another state, reports Jordan Abshire, who brings a law degree to Abshire Legal Search LLC, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. “Firms with 400, 500 or 600 attorneys have management teams firm-wide focusing more on cost control and making sure attorneys (meet) billable hours (first),” he says. Abshire also cites uneven workflow in law firms, as in manufacturing or companies with government contracts, which may impact the need to hire.

The next time an employer doesn’t hire you, do your best to find out why. If you’re approaching your job search professionally, not being hired may have nothing whatsoever to do with you and may ultimately be a blessing.

Dr. Mildred L. Culp of WorkWise® welcomes your questions at

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