why would a company freeze a hiring process?

A reader writes:

I applied for a job at a biotech company and got an interview in early March. The interview went very well, and they were all pleased with me. But then they froze the hiring process. I was in the top couple of candidates, but the hiring process for this position (and others as well) was inexplicably frozen. The in-house recruiter did not say that the opening has been closed, but he doesn’t know when the the hiring process will re-start.

In January and February, this company had been bought by a larger company. I checked the news on this company and the financial report for the first quarter, and this company and the company that bought it were both doing very well. The department I applied to clearly needs someone to fill this position. So why would a company that is doing well and has a good income freeze the hiring process? Should I try to personally contact the CFO and convince him to restart the hiring process for this position?

Nooooo.

Contacting the CFO and trying to convince him that you know better than he does what his company needs will accomplish the exact opposite of what you want: It’ll ensure you never get hired at this company.

Seriously, think that idea through for a minute. It’s a little bit crazy to think that you’re better positioned to judge this than the people who intimately know this company’s business and who probably know all kinds of relevant information that you don’t.

There are tons of reasons that a company might freeze a hiring process:  They’ve reallocated the money for that position to something else, or they’re thinking about doing that … or they’re thinking about restructuring the position or the department … or the position is on hold while they decide if they even need/want the position, because they’ve just killed its largest project, or outsourced most of its work, or any of innumerable other reasons that might call the role into question … or someone in the department just announced they’re leaving, which is causing them to reshuffle a number of people, which may or may not end up impacting this position … or the position’s manager is leaving, and they want to bring in a new manager before hiring her staff for her … or tons of other things. This list could go on and on. And with this company having recently been bought by another company, it’s easy to assume that some kind of restructuring is likely happening.

Be patient and wait for this to play out, and meanwhile keep applying for other jobs. And don’t make any calls to enlighten them about why they should move forward with this position, unless you want to instantly go from “top couple of candidates” to “naive, overstepping, and presumptuous” — and not hireable.

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