How long does it take to make a decision, anyway? Don’t they know they have you on pins and needles? Even in 1999 when the job market was much more in my favor as a job seeker, it took about 3 weeks from first interview until the offer was made. Not surprising then, that now that the job market is in the favor of the employers – and they have probably already waited too long to fill this position – that it can take 8 or more weeks to get the final thumbs up or down on a position.
Why is that? Let us count some of the ways:
- Hiring manager doesn’t have the time for the process/doesn’t allow enough time, same with others at the company involved in the hiring process
- Trouble getting all good candidates scheduled for a stage in the process
- Definition of the role changes during the process
- Funding for the position changes during the process
- Departmental objectives change during the process
- Issues in other parts of the company affect the process
- Meetings, vacations, etc. of the team involved in the hiring process
- Challenges unrelated to hiring come up in the department, taking time away from the process
I could probably go on, but that isn’t necessary. Time passes differently for the people at the company who have to carve out time from their regular tasks to attend to the hiring process and you. Your primary focus is the job search, while filing the position is somewhere down the list for the hiring team.
We humans are generally not very good at estimating how long it should take to do a certain activity or task. (This makes for interesting project management discussions when it comes to estimating time for a whole project, but that is a different topic.) Add in any anticipation and our ability to estimate is further eroded.
Not fun to hear, but the only thing that the job seeker has control over here is how to handle the wait time. How do you fill the time?
Beth Anne Reed has a background in Customer Relations, Process & Project Management and a deep interest in Written Communications.
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