This post was updated in February 2020.
So, you have a couple of great candidates waiting in the line-up for your new position. You interviewed with them a week ago and are still evaluating with your co-workers and the other hiring managers before making a job offer. On top of that, you have a ton of work piling up you have to take care of during this hiring process.
Unfortunately, you’ve let the candidates wait on the back burner while you figure everything out. Three weeks after your interviews with the candidates you finally come to a decision and extend a job offer.
The problem is, the person has moved on and is no longer interested. Or perhaps they have already been offered another position elsewhere. All of that time spent was wasted, and you are left with no one to fill your open role. You can go with your second choice, but they were second for a reason.
This is a situation you want to avoid as the hiring manager trying to fill an open position. Waiting too long to present a job offer can turn candidates off. How long will candidates wait before you offer them a position?
Candidates want a clear timeline
First and foremost, candidates want to be treated as equals during the hiring process. A whopping 82% in a 2018 CareerBuilder survey expect employers to provide a clear timeline for the hiring process. They also want to remain updated as the process moves forward.
Without a clear timeline — or disregarding one you’ve set in place — candidates aren’t just discounting your hiring process. In fact, the same CareerBuilder respondents (68%) believe their experience as a candidate reflects how the company treats its people.
So, when you tell candidates they should expect job offers by the end of the week and never follow up with them, you’re damaging the company’s overall reputation and relationship with the candidate. Ultimately, they don’t reach the job offer stage, and your company drops in status as a quality employer.
For you to extend a deadline like that, the person must have seemed right for the job. Therefore, making them wait longer than promised is unnecessary and viewed as disrespectful — and they may end up accepting a job offer from a competitor.
Candidates want an expedited process
The continuously low unemployment rate puts candidates in power positions over their career moves. Most know their worth, which lowers their patience when waiting around to get a job offer. After applying, more than half of employees (55%) will give up and move on if they haven’t heard from an employer within two weeks of applying, according to the CareerBuilder survey.
The good news is, many hiring pros are getting the hint. In our 2018 Growth Hiring Trends in the United States report, 49% of hiring pros revealed their average time-to-hire is 7 to 14 days from receipt of an application to offer letter.
Even more surprising, 55% of candidates waited less than one week between their last interview and receiving an offer, according to Talent Board’s 2019 Candidate Experience Report.
However, reaching these quick turnaround numbers isn’t an easy task. As a hiring manager, you know many factors are weighing into the decision-making process. First and foremost, if this position is part of a greater team, then you are going to want to get the input from other team members and managers.
It can be challenging to find a moment when everyone on the team can meet, but it is critical you do it in a timely manner. If there is someone you think would be perfect for the position, it’s especially likely another company will move in to sweep them up.
Furthermore, savvy job seekers know they should not consider a job offer a done deal until they receive terms, details, and their start dates. It would be foolish for a job seeker to wait for an employment offer from one company.
Instead, they could be continuing their job search, networking with recruitment professionals, and increasing their chances of receiving an extended offer. Implementing video interviews into your hiring process is one way you can save time by making it easier to collaborate on a new hire.
Candidates deserve a fast, unanimous decision
The hiring process holds many challenges, including the internal back-and-forth required to make a final decision. Candidates, and your team, deserve a quick selection process.
Unfortunately, as stated earlier, it’s often difficult to bring everyone together in a formal setting to discuss candidates. With video interviews, you can share a recorded job interview with other members of your team and managers. They can then review it when they have an opening in their schedule, and see for themselves if this job seeker is qualified to fill the position.
Or they can prepare questions to better narrow down the prospects. Once you bring the potential employee in for an in-person interview, other team members will be more likely to already be on the same page, ready to listen to accept the best-fitting candidate.
No matter how you address the hiring process, don’t let top candidates wait on the back burner too long before sending an offer of employment. If you know you want to make a job offer, then evaluate quickly and send them the next step in the process. Or else, their waiting may be the ultimate downfall of your hiring process.