Last week one of our candidates that was hired two weeks ago and was supposed to start their new job this Monday, but was called and told that the position had been eliminated and they no longer had an opening within the department. The candidate was devastated and then furious.

When sudden job elimination occurs, we have nothing but empathy given the stress and the disappointment experienced.

But like my five-year-old granddaughter told us this weekend, “life isn’t fair” (not bad for a five-year-old). Given a search for a job, like life, is not fair no one can prevent this kind of thing from happening.  Therefore, when given an extended start date, candidates must be the more cautious.

One thing a job seeker can do is to continue to interview, even after accepting a job, until the actual start date.

I’d like to say this kind of thing never used to happen, but it always has. It doesn’t happen all that often, but it is devastating when it does. Businesses expand and contract more these days than ever before. For instance, when I got in this profession in 1973 the average company in the United States was 59 years old. Today the average company is 6.8 years old.

It’s not that a person can’t “trust” other people. It has nothing to do with trust. Most times, hiring authorities are sincere about offers extended to candidates.   Who would go to the trouble of interviewing and trying to hire someone knowing that the job really isn’t going to come through?  Many hiring authorities are caught off guard when a position is eliminated, in which they just filled.  However, they obviously do not have a choice in the matter must face the embarrassment of informing the applicant.

The message is clear. Keep on interviewing until you actually show up for the job, while not ideal it is the best practice in such a turbulent market.