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. 



Over on the Appoint LinkedIn!

Did you know that the Appoint LinkedIn page also houses exclusive content?

As you know, we use the main Appoint news page to update you on the latest recruitment and business happenings. That’s whether you’re reading the news as a job hunter or manager/employer. In fact, you’ll find many articles detail specific advice for all parties.

Alongside this, and as an extension of our recruitment news, we also have active social media feeds. Feeds which are regularly updated with exclusive content alongside new job alerts.

Recent examples on the Appoint LinkedIn page include…

  1. How not to irritate your work colleagues. A roundup of the 10 things that most irritate British workers, according to HR News and EBuyer!
  2. Over 2 in 3 candidates have declined their dream job. Why this is and what businesses can do about it.
  3. Take action this spring. There’s still time to use the season to your advantage – just as Success Magazine recommends!
  4. Oldest, middle or youngest child? How your birth order affects your career choice. Or so says the Independent.
  5. The 15 sentences your interviewer does not want to hear. Also including an extra link to support their advice!
  6. 19 successful people who made big career changes post-30. Because new careers aren’t reserved only for school leavers. There are so many possibilities post-30 and far beyond!
  7. How to shrink your stress levels without hurting your salary, via HR News’s quick-fire guidance.
  8. Will you be one of the 6 million people working into their 80s? With findings from the ‘working late’ report.
  9. Whether working when sick is our unhealthiest national obsession. A topic discussed fresh after winter, yet one that’s still making regular news headlines this spring.
  10. Is your job costing you more than £1.5K a year? Why this might be and the costs that most frustrate workers.

Please note: you may need to sign into your LinkedIn feed to access the above links. Don’t forget to follow the Appoint LinkedIn page so you receive all future updates directly to your feed.

Do let us know if there’s a particular topic you’d like to read more about. You can also share your thoughts and access more exclusive content via Twitter.