Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
How Long Will Candidates Wait for a Job Offer?

How Long Will Candidates Wait for a Job Offer?

So, you have a couple of great candidates in the line-up for your new position. You interviewed with them a week ago and are still trying to make a decision with your coworkers and the other hiring managers. On top of that, you have a ton of work piling up that you have to take care of as well 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 make a job offer. Problem is, the candidate has moved on and is no longer interested. Or perhaps they have already been offered another position elsewhere. All of that time spent is now wasted and you are left with no one to fill your position. 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 make a job offer can turn candidates off. How long will candidates wait before you offer them a position?

First and foremost, when you tell a candidate that they should be expecting a job offer by the end of the week and never follow up with them, you’re only hurting yourself. For you to make a statement like that, the candidate must have really piqued your interest and impressed you in the hiring process. Therefore, why make them wait longer than you said they had to? That is why you should never tell a candidate that they should be expecting a job offer if you are not positive you are going to make one. That said, if you still make an offer but it is weeks later they still might be hesitant to accept.

Though there aren’t any hardcore numbers out there on how long you can make a candidate wait before you make a job offer, it’s safe to say that it has the shelf-life of dairy: two weeks. As hiring manager, you know there are a lot of factors that weigh into the decision-making and hiring 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 difficult to find a time when everyone on the team can meet, but it is important that you do it in a timely manner. Especially if there is a candidate you think would be perfect for the position. If they are a top candidate, then it’s highly likely another company will move in to sweep them up as well.

Furthermore, savvy job seekers know that they should not give up on their job search until they have a hardcore job offer. It’s the old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” It would be foolish of a job seeker to wait on a job offer from one company when they could be continuing their job search and increasing their chances of snagging a job. That is why implementing video interviews into your hiring process can really shave some time off and make it much easier to collaborate on a new hire.

Collaborating on a hire can take a lot of time. As stated earlier, it can be really difficult to get everyone together to discuss a candidate. With video interviews, you can share with other members of your team and managers the recorded job interview you had with a candidate. They can review it on their own time and see for themselves if this job seeker is qualified to fill the position. Then once you bring the candidate in for the in-person job interview, the other team members will be more willing to accept your decision since they already got a taste for what this candidate is like.

No matter how you go about the hiring process, you should not let top candidates wait on the back burner too long while you try and make a decision. Two weeks should be your limit, but even that is a long time to wait for a job offer that may or may not be made. If you know you want a candidate, then hop on it quick and offer them the job. Waiting may be the downfall of your hiring process.

What is the longest you will make candidates wait before you make them a job offer? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter