The Art of Resetting a Search

Katherine Moody
Oct 09, 2017


Have a search that has been open forever? Is everyone (including you and your manager) unhappy with how it’s going?

Is your hiring manager repeatedly rejecting candidates who fit the requirements everyone agreed upon when you started? Are your hiring managers changing titles, requirements and duties on the fly—without your input?

Is sourcing candidates feeling like “returning to a dry well?”

In this whirl of activity and low response you may no longer even be clear about what the position does, or what the ideal candidate looks like, or even what the hiring manager wants! These problems result in ‘last ditch’ efforts known as “find more candidates.”

If you are experiencing any of these, you are not alone.  Here are some of the ways that I’ve helped recruiters get back on track:

Get Clarity

  • Schedule a meeting with the hiring manager. You may have already had your launch meeting when you started, but things may have changed. It is never a bad idea to get more clarity around the position, what they are really looking for, and how this position contributes to the company. Plus, you’ll be seen as a proactive consultant to your hiring manager.
  • Call it a mid-course correction or the “I have a few questions so we can more closely target candidates” conversation. No need to throw anyone under the bus here (including you!). So refrain from saying anything like “I should have asked earlier” or “you should have told me that.”
  • Make sure you ask the questions you have without apology or feeling stupid for having them. Please note: I’ve been recruiting for more years than I want to see in writing and absolutely have never seen a job description that gave me all the information I needed to do a quality search.

Course Correct

  • Rewrite the posting as if you were talking to the ideal candidate on the phone. You may also consider using video to tell that story. Each of these will pull in more qualified candidates. Plus, it will save you time because you won’t have to say it over and over to all the candidates you interview.
  • Be sure to include any sound bites that you heard from the hiring manager that make this job unique, what differentiates the team culture, or what makes the role important to the entire organization. In short, focus on what your ideal candidates would think is really cool about the position.
  • Rewrite your Inmail message with a subject line that speaks to what is most important to your ideal candidates. Any email should be brief, centered on the candidate, and include a direct link to the new engaging posting.

Only after taking these steps can you determine what sourcing changes you need, if any.

To hear more from Katherine and how to be The Consultative Recruiter, watch her on-demand Webinar.

About Katherine



Katherine Moody is the author of The Consultative Recruiter and How to Do Small Talk Fearlessly. For the past 27 years, she has been helping companies find great talent and job seekers to find their ideal roles. In addition to managing large virtual recruiting teams, she has worked with companies such as The Cheesecake Factory, The Walt Disney Company, St. Joseph Healthcare, P.F. Changs, Fox Entertainment, and Yahoo.

She has an MBA from the University of Southern California and an Executive MBA from the Peter Drucker Management Center of Claremont University

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