Timing matters in recruitment!

Further proof that timing matters to job-seekers, right from the application stage through to interview feedback. A must-read for candidates and companies alike…

We’ve all heard it said often enough, time is our most precious commodity. The job searching process can take up a lot of time. Especially if you’re trying to go it alone in your search, you’re hunting in a competitive industry, applying for specialist roles, and/or you’re not quite looking in the right places. We’ll come back to this point shortly!

Meanwhile, we wanted to share two news items on the subject of recruitment timing.

Timing matters: at job application stage

Almost 3/4 of candidates are said to walk away from a job application if it takes longer than 15 minutes to complete. This is according to large-scale research, as reported by HR Magazine.

The article cites ‘lengthy processes’ and ‘too many requirements’ as the primary factors that cause applicants to abandon ship.

There are several ways to look at these findings. Firstly, too many organisations are putting barriers in place that may drive job-seekers away. Not the wisest move when the nation is facing an ongoing skills shortage! Yet it could also be said that few candidates would abandon an application if they were truly drawn to the job in question. In other words, perhaps it’s only driving away those who aren’t overly interested in the first place.

As with many studies of this nature, the reality likely lies somewhere between the two.

Advice for candidates:

  • Before you walk away from a longer job application, take a moment to consider your true level of interest. If 73% of people will tend to abandon that process, there are likely to be fewer applications than for the average job. This gives you more chance of standing out. It can also demonstrate determination and dedication. Still, if you’re not drawn to apply, you can invest your time in other more interesting applications.
  • Let’s return to the point of whether you’re looking ‘in the right places’/for the right roles. If you keep applying for positions because they’re the only positions you’re really finding, or you just feel you might as well, then you may want to read these job hunting tips. They’re designed to help you invest your job search time in the most rewarding places.

Advice for recruiting businesses:

  • Where possible or appropriate, divide lengthier job applications into stages. Meaning only candidates already shortlisted as potentially suitable have to enter into any extended (time-consuming!) processes. A CV and cover letter commonly still makes for the best initial shortlisting tool.
  • In addition, find a recruitment agency who specialises in your field. This allows you to tap into all of an agency’s candidate attraction tools. This usually includes their own online job application systems, as well as the use of any external jobs boards. It also allows you to utilise their expertise in candidate screening and selection. The REC Member Directory is a great place to start.

Timing matters: when it comes to interview feedback and job offers!

Yes, it’s not only in the job search phase that timing matters. 1/3 of job-seekers have also accepted their second preference role due to timing. Only, in this case, it’s due to ‘delayed interview feedback’.

This separate study, shared by HR News, also found that job applicants who’ve had delayed (or absent!) interview feedback may share their negative experiences with others, and could even cancel any services they hold with the company.

The South-West was the second slowest feedback region (after Scotland). Interviewers take an average of 29 days to provide interview feedback in the South-West, which is almost two weeks longer than the South-East region. Regional and sector differences have been illustrated on this map.

Advice for candidates:

  • If you’re working with a recruitment agency, your consultant will keep in touch with the recruiting client and obtain any interview feedback on your behalf. While some clients will still have an extended decision-making process, this will increase your chances of knowing where you stand sooner. It’s never recommended to contact the client directly without prior permission from the consultant, as it can undermine the agency’s approach. Should you wish to drop a thank you for your interview, or have any questions, simply contact your consultant. Remember, they will also be rooting for you so will be trying their best to keep you up-to-date!
  • When making direct applications, you may wish to drop a thank you to the organisation and/or contact the company to seek feedback. The Balance Careers has shared some advice on doing this in a professional manner.

Advice for recruiting businesses:

  • Don’t want to lose out on an excellent candidate? Keep them in the loop and don’t forget that your consultant is there to help and discuss your options! Update your consultant on your decision-making process and allow them to take all the work out of feeding back to the candidate. Even if your update is simply to say decisions will be made on ‘X’ date, this is helpful to hear.
  • See what you can do to shave off some of the decision-making time. Just an extra day can make all the difference to an applicant who is considering several vacancies. Especially if the applicant is currently unemployed and cannot afford to wait when another great offer is presented.
  • Sometimes it helps to introduce a final round of interviews, allowing you to make a decision between two closely matched candidates. These can also be used to introduce applicants to another interviewer.

Ready to recruit? Call an Appoint Consultant today on 01225 313130. 



Employee disengagement: the 5 reasons why

What’s at the root of your employee disengagement, whether you’re the disengaged employee or the person hoping to inspire them? This issue affects around 70% of staff members – and costs companies up to 10% of their ‘customer ratings’.

Business owner George Rouse has discussed the possible causes with HR News. Summarising Rouse’s suggestions…

Employee disengagement may be derived from:

  1. A lack of freedom or autonomy in decision-making.
  2. Overlooking the businesses’ wider purpose or ethos. This could include the failure to create a positive impact or broader community benefits.
  3. Team tiredness and/or not carving out space for employees to step away and recharge.
  4. Improper nutrition or team hunger.
  5. Low motivation as a result of ‘feeling underappreciated’.

Rouse explains each reason in more depth here.

Some possible solutions include:

  1. Creating a greater ‘experimentation culture’. We’ve previously discussed this topic, including implementation tips for businesses and what to do if you’re on the employee side of the problem.
  2. Discuss your company mission and values. Inc has a great article for anyone managing a team and it all starts with setting the right values in the first place. Equally, interviewees and employees shouldn’t be afraid to ask about an employer’s core company values. It shows initiative and could spark a valuable business process.
  3. As workers, we each need to take some responsibility for our energy levels. You’ll find some tips regarding this in the ‘personal’ section of this post. As Rouse suggests, employers can also play their part by encouraging breaks and introducing relaxation rooms or zones in which to take them.
  4. The same applies to nutrition and hunger! Pack nutritious snacks for yourself or offer healthy nibbles to your team. Ensure you always eat lunch and encourage your colleagues to do the same.
  5. Valuing yourself. It’s challenging to make someone communicate their appreciation for you! However, you can always motivate yourself by keeping an ongoing log of your achievements. This is super handy for appraisals and any future CV writing, allowing you to easily recall and demonstrate your accomplishments.
  6. Valuing others. Thankfully, it’s far easier to express appreciation for others! Employees of every level should remember to thank colleagues for their help and say well done for a great performance. Alongside this, managers can explore employee rewards. These don’t have to be financial; we recently shared the 9 most sought-after staff benefits outside of a pay rise.

Tried everything and still feeling totally disengaged? Perhaps a fresh challenge would reinspire you?



Flash decisions & career travel

Why flash decisions go both ways during an interview, plus the reasons workers aren’t wanting to travel…

Flash decisions

We’ve long been told first impressions count and perhaps none so more than when you’re in an interview situation. Your handshake, choice of outfit and ability to hold eye contact can famously sway an employer closer towards a second interview invite.

However, did you know candidates are also making flash decisions? Just over half (53%) of job-seekers have decided whether they want the role during their first interview. In fact, almost a quarter (24%) establish this within five minutes of their arrival.

Find this surprising? 37% of candidates actually decide whether they wish to work for a company right from their initial point of contact. Even if that’s simply making a phone call or sending an information request by email.

Yet flash decisions can take a whole new direction if employers are not quick enough to act in the recruitment process, according to 58% of job-seekers.

These stats come from onrec, who also share tips for interviewers wanting to make a good first impression. This includes good time management, familiarity with the basics of the candidate’s CV, avoiding distractions throughout your time with the interviewee, conducting a well-structured interview, and making an attempt to ‘sell’ the business and role in question.

Career travel

Elsewhere on onrec, we hear that the great majority of British workers (77.5%) do not want to travel for their careers. More than a quarter (28%) would actually decline a role if it required business travel.

So what’s putting these workers off? The top three reasons include not getting to spend time with friends and family (51.9%), the general ‘time it takes’ (14.7%), and jet lag/fatigue (13.5%). The other  reasons cited include the notion of ‘living out of a suitcase,’ and having to give up spare time, including weekends.

If you’re a job-seeker who generally enjoys travel –and you spot a requirement for this on the job spec– this could be a major selling point and is something to promote in your CV. The report suggests this is more likely to be the case among younger workers. The stats break down as follows:

  • 78.1% of under 18s would like to travel for work, compared with…
  • 64.6% of professionals aged 25-35 years.
  • 38.4% of those aged 45-54.
  • And just 33.7% for the 55-64 age group.

As the article suggests, these stats may be affected by the varying levels of responsibility outside of work. Alongside the opportunity of exploring new cultures.

Looking to recruit for roles requiring career travel? The piece recommends offering additional recuperation time for those who’ve travelled on behalf of the business (helping to ease some of the wellbeing worries).

Appoint can also assist you in better sourcing and attracting travel-loving staff. Please call the office on 01225 313130 to discuss your recruitment needs.  

Read next…

  1. The secret of success: for job-seekers, colleagues, managers & bosses. Kevin Green has officially departed his role at the REC. Thankfully, he gave us all a real gift of knowledge before he left!
  2. Share your staff benefits: a piece for all employers wanting to do more to attract candidates to your company.
  3. Personal branding for job-seekers: how thinking like a brand could improve your job hunting skills.