My week had been moving along nicely, dealing with clients and candidates – juggling commitments as always – and everything seemed to be falling into place.

Apart from one client, there seemed to be so much back-and-forth about small stuff, things that we really could deal with in one phone conversation.

This had been going on for a couple of months – variations to this and that, here and there. We had many questions about the role and the kind of person they wanted to recruit as their country manager in Thailand.

We finally managed to secure a time, after many changes, to speak with the managing director in Singapore to find out exactly what skills set and type of personality he wanted to hire.

We were totally ready for the call, and we had sent a list of questions so that he could prepare himself.

When we called, exactly on time, the person who answered the phone seemed clueless as to why anyone would call at all, then we were finally passed us on to the head of human resources.

The head of HR turned into apologetic mode: yes, the MD knew about the meeting, but he wasn’t back from a prior engagement and didn’t leave any instructions about where he would be – this was despite the call having been arranged for several days.

Of course we know that emergencies crop up and people are suddenly, unexpectedly, unavailable.

But for most of us when that happens, we take care to cover off with our colleagues anything that is office-related so that someone else can handle it.

The fact that the MD didn’t make any contingency plans started me thinking that he doesn’t much care about dealing with us, or respect our time, or – perhaps – even really want us to do the recruitment for him.  (That would be odd, as he was the one who engaged us, but never mind.)

So what do we do? Press on with HR and hope that the MD comes back to the party?

I’m in two minds – part of me says not to bother, but the part that always wants to see things through is saying exactly that: see thing through, and finish the job.

For the next few days though, we are going to wait and see what happens. If we receive nothing from them to try to reconvene that meeting then I am going to have to accept that they really don’t want things to go forward with us.

Perhaps the perfect person walked in the door, or perhaps they changed their minds and really don’t need to recruit.

Either way, it would be nice to know. Leaving things unfinished or unresolved isn’t the way I like to do business.

As usual, let me know if you have any particular topic you would like to see covered here.

Gary Woollacott is an executive search consultant who works for Horton International in Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. He can be reached at +84 8 3910 7682 or via woollacott@hortoninternational.com