If real estate has "location, location, location" then recruitment should certainly coin "timing, timing, timing" for our industry!
Once, I had a candidate in final stages with a client on a Friday. I was
buzzing about my weekend happy as a bee. Monday morning, I learn the hiring manager went to lunch over the weekend and bumped into someone that used to work for them at a different company, but they hadn't seen each other in 10 years. They got to talking about their current companies and decided the nearly-filled job was worth discussing with this person (who had also recently decided to consider new roles). After the hiring manager carefully considered some other recent staff transitions, he tweaked the parameters of the open job a little bit. Within 24 hours, they'd declined my candidate who was no longer completely qualified, and moved forward with an offer to the other person. HOW RANDOM IS THAT? A simple, chance meeting at lunch ON A WEEKEND changed the outcome of an entire search. TIMING, MUCH!?!?
I have often told outstanding candidates that sometimes they are the PERFECT candidate for a job, but timing gets in the way. If they are resume #104 and the recruiter closes the pool after reviewing 100, that company has never even seen their resume! And sadly for all, that company might hire a less qualified person as a result. The candidate shouldn't feel disheartened that maybe they weren't good enough for some reason, sometimes it really is just timing.
When was the job posted? How many internal candidates did they have before posting it to external candidates? Is this search extremely confidential or is it widely known that the job is available? How many candidates are currently in process and are they all at the same stage or varying stages of the interview process? What time of year is it? Holidays and vacations mean delays and these create missed opportunities in availability and interest from both a company and a candidate.
If I could offer any word of encouragement to a job-seeker, it would be to consider timing. Do what you can to eliminate delays. Be EXTREMELY quick to act on freshly posted positions - I mean apply that same day. If you hear a rumor about a job, learn who to contact in HR and contact them immediately! If you are getting declined for jobs or just never hearing back at all, remind yourself that timing was likely a huge factor in the decision. Beating yourself up over the jobs you didn't get won't leave you looking awesome for the next one.
Do you have any stories as a recruiter about how timing has impacted your searches? Or have you noticed as a job-seeker when timing was the reason for you getting (or not getting) a job?