"Terminating The Position"

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"Terminating The Position"

Postby PJM » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:41 am

Is this code for something? I have now twice made it through the long, arduous hiring process (multiple phone interviews, 8 hour in person interview with 30-45 minute presentations) only to be called a few days later and say that the position was being terminated and they are no longer hiring. This time the company had 3 months to figure out if they needed the position, but decide after they wasted everyone's time that the position is not needed? Give me a break. I would much rather be told that they hired somebody that was more qualified.

Anyways, I'm 3 months unemployed from a postdoc contract where I had the rug pulled out from under me, being told that contract couldn't be renewed and had 4 months to find a no avail obviously. Have been applying for jobs now for over 2 years. Have leaned on contacts, applied for over 100 jobs, have gotten to 4 in-person interviews. I would love to stay in research, but I think this is the universe telling me to move on and do something else. Thanks for listening.
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Re: "Terminating The Position"

Postby Dick Woodward » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:24 pm

In industry the most common meaning is that as the budgeting process rolls around, the position had to be cut to meet the budgeted profit margins. Please understand that in industry, budgets are often revisited on a quarterly basis - the key number is the profit target for the end of the fiscal year, and anything that can be done to meet that target will be done. Cancelling a position is an easy fix.

In the US, at least, cancelling (or terminating) the position is unlikely be a polite way of telling you that "we hired someone else". My understanding is that there can be legal ramifications if that is done, whereas if you get a letter thanking you for your time, telling you it was a very competitive field of candidates, and that someone else was chosen has no such ramifications. I do not know the situation ex-US.

I would take the "position termination" at face value and chalk it up to bad luck that it happened twice. There is little or nothing that you can do about it anyway.

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Re: "Terminating The Position"

Postby D.X. » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:02 am


Just to confirm Dick's comments from an ex-US perspective. All permanant positions are linked to a line-item field on a Budget sheet often refered to a Full Time Equivelent (FTE) a term you see used on this Forum.

For budgeting purposes, the Position is linked to the FTE line item in a Budget sheet and as Dick noted during budgeting cycles, this can happen quartley but I see it about 3 times a year (a budgeting cycle) we adjust our spending forecasts (to give a Lastest Estimate or LE) to align with Business Needs and Performance - this is when decisions are taken for a new FTE which will be come a permanant line-item in Terms of fixed opearational expenditure.

Unfortunately, the industry is moving so fast, that it could be at one Budget Cycle (say LE1) it can be said a new FTE is needed and Budgeted for and by LE2, say 4 or 5 months later then, that decison is revoked and the Position by virtue of its line-item on the Budget sheet is deleted.

So, key Point, don't take it personally. Most likely based on what I said above, its a finanical decision that is out of the Hands of the hiring Manager so it's not them. Consider that they initially went and requested a new FTE from their functional heads and finanace Teams with a some resource allocation justification.

So nothing you OR the hiring Manager can do. What you can do is don't lose contact with those whom you've interviewed with. Keep in contact. Remember it wasn't their fault. You may find a Position later on if they decide to re-open the role.

Best, from someone who just had to do a FTE resource allocation excercise with finance and project management teams, to help justifify and propose additional positions (FTE) in the Team to executive Management.

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Re: "Terminating The Position"

Postby Caroline Ritchie » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:14 am

This is very common, especially this time of year. Eliminating open positions is the easiest way for a company to reduce costs and, as the 4th quarter rolls around, companies start making these types of cuts to ensure their end-of-year financial standing keeps shareholders happy. I have seen this in every company I have worked for, even if the company has been performing very well financially all year. You'll probably notice these positions open again in January. Unfortunately, this makes the Fall a difficult time to be a job seeker, but don't let it discourage you. Not all companies make these types of cuts, and not all companies' fiscal year is aligned with the calendar year (ie, for some companies, the Fall may be the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd fiscal quarter).
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Re: "Terminating The Position"

Postby PJM » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:49 am

Thanks for the responses and advice, and allowing me to vent. Just frustrating to have it happen twice in a span of 6 months, which is why I didn't know if this was some new HR trend in letting people down "easier".
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Re: "Terminating The Position"

Postby PG » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:17 pm

We certainly never lie to applicants (or to others) to let them down easier or anything else. In addition to beign wrong for many different reasons lying creates all kinds of future troubles.

Having positions terminated is not uncommon and this is also a good reason for the hiring manager to complete hires as soon as possible. Once a contract is signed at least this specific risk goes away.
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