The Waiting Game
Only a few things in life make my skin crawl, frustrating me to the point of dropping F bombs all over everyone’s ass. Items on that list include blocked calls, plastic sealed packaging that is way too complicated to open, not getting a wave back from a car that you just let in front of you, and companies with awfully slow and unnecessarily long hiring processes.
What I’m talking about is the communication and hiring process after the first contact has been made (usually a phone screen or e-mail). At this point, companies need to explain the process clearly, and move candidates through quick. Jobseekers already rank near the top of the “most neurotic people” list, so don’t make it worse.
There are two areas that frustrate me most. One is making candidates wait too long to hear back, and the other is incorporating far too many steps in their hiring process.
Why must companies take so long to get back to people after phone screens and interviews? If you ask them, they’ll say, “We had two more interviews to get through and they weren’t for two weeks” or “We weren’t sure about the candidate, so we wanted to wait till we found someone better”. Assholes.
To fix this, schedule all of the phone screens or interviews around the same time. Not only is this better for candidates, it’s also effective for the interviewer. Keeping everything fresh in their mind is helpful when evaluating. And, if you need to wait to find someone better, why not just cut the first candidate loose? That’s just cruel.
Honestly, is it really necessary to have two phone screens and two or three face-to-face interviews? Why not just one of each? When I hear of candidates coming back three separate times to meet a new person each time it just drives me nutty, and makes zero sense.
Gain a commitment from the entire interviewing team to clear their schedules. Is the position important to fill? If so, then act like it. Another option is panel interviewing. Maybe intimidating for the candidate, but once it’s over, it’s over. Each panel member sees and hears the same thing and they can make a decision as soon as the candidate leaves. Donzo.
Message to Employers
Top talent won’t wait around. While you’re busy taking your sweet ass time, they are busy talking to other employers. Also, don’t force them to come in multiple times, taking up their vacation days. It’s not appreciated.
Bottom line; treat your candidates like customers. Evaluate them thoroughly, but design your process with them in mind.
Message to Jobseekers
Don’t sit there waiting. Feel free to ask questions about timing, and the process (not everyday). Don’t sit back and wait on a company that’s making you play their waiting game.
Rich DeMatteo is the founder of Corn on the Job and Job Hunt Chat.