Striking the right balance between advertising for long enough to ensure you’ve reached enough applicants, whilst at the same time not waiting so long that you start to lose candidates, is a fine art!
We often see employers who advertise a role with a closing date two weeks away but who then don’t review the applications until after the closing date (sometimes up to a week after.) By the time they get around to speaking to any of the applicants it’s been three weeks since they applied – and you can bet their interest in the position has diminished – or they’ve secured a role elsewhere. When you’re recruiting, timeliness is everything!
The ideal time-frame from advertising a role through to offer stage is between two and four weeks. However, this largely depends on the level and the nature of the role. A senior level position will generally take longer than this, as will a highly specialised role where you might receive fewer applications and the emphasis is more on a Search type recruitment.
So generally speaking, a low to mid-level position – Receptionist/Admin/Customer Service/Accounting should really be turned around in two to four weeks.
What if your recruitment process is taking long than this? Here are our tips to ensure you turn your job around quickly and efficiently:
- Don’t wait a week or more to review the applications, get on to them as quickly as you can! It’s amazing how often the applicants we phone are surprised (and delighted) by how quickly we contact them. Plus, it helps to keep them engaged and excited about the role.
- Keep the process moving. Set a timeline for the recruitment process and block out interview dates in your diary (and anyone else’s who will be involved) ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than making a candidate wait a week or more to meet with you – the longer you make them wait, the higher the chance they’ll find something else or will lose interest in the role altogether.
- If you know your recruitment process involves a number of steps let the candidates know upfront. We understand some organisations require additional steps to the process e.g. psychometric testing, police checks, etc but if candidates are at least aware of what’s required upfront, and you keep in regular contact with them, they tend to stay engaged.
- Review your recruitment process. Do you really need to psych test everyone?? Can you accept a Statutory Declaration and make the job offer subject to a clear police check? By doing this the candidate can at least be confident they’ve secured the role and can stop applying for other positions, rather than having to wait weeks for a police check not knowing if they’ll even be offered the position!
- Put yourself in the candidates’ shoes! We’ve all applied for positions that we were really excited about, just to be left waiting and waiting, or even worse – attending an interview and left waiting for weeks to receive feedback. Not a great look from an employer brand perspective – particularly if they’re someone you eventually offer the role to.
At the end of the day, the majority of the candidates you’re dealing with need a job and they may not have the luxury of waiting around too long. Others are looking for a change and may accept another offer rather than risk waiting on your decision which may or may not be favourable.
So, if you’re not managing your recruitment process efficiently, you’re running the risk of losing your top candidate to someone else who is!
Thanks for reading!