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Great jobs come to those who wait

Posted on from Robert Walters

Recent research from Robert Walters found a significant gap between job seekers’ expectations of communication around the recruitment process and the reality you are likely to experience? Vicky Salt offers her top tips to help you prepare effectively.

Job seeking jitters

You’ve applied for a new job and you’re waiting to hear back. Or perhaps you’ve had an interview and want to find out whether you will be offered the role. The days tick by with no sign of that call or letter. So what can you do?

After applying

Of the job seekers we surveyed, almost one in four (23%) expected the organisation or recruitment consultancy to respond within two days of receiving their application, while 57% expected a response within four days.

How to prepare: Understand that a company might receive dozens or even hundreds of applications for a particular job. Don’t assume that if you haven’t heard anything after a week the company isn’t interested in you. A polite follow-up call or email might be acceptable, but frequent contact is not. If you’re using a recruitment consultancy, you may feel less inhibited about asking for a response, but make sure you remain professional.

Post interview

Our research suggests that the vast majority (88%) of job seekers expect to be contacted within four days of attending an interview, while more than half (55%) expect a response within two days. While we stress the importance of delivering feedback in a timely fashion, this doesn’t always happen. It’s frustrating, but it’s not necessarily a reflection of the company or its assessment of you.

How to prepare: Find out about the timescales during your interview. If you don’t hear back within the time specified, ask. Give the company time to respond and, if need be, get in touch again after a few days. If everything about the process has been disorganised, this might not be a good sign. However, it’s important to understand that the company may have more pressing priorities.

The recruitment process

While 78% of professionals believe the time from application to job offer should be four weeks or less, our research shows this happened in only 26% of cases. And while just 1% of job seekers believe three months or more is acceptable, we found that recruitment took this long in more than a fifth (22%) of cases. We recommend that employers sign off budgets before the process begins, identify who needs to be involved at the outset and schedule their time.

How to prepare: Try to be flexible about your time for interview. Most organisations will ask to meet you twice, but a quarter of the employees we spoke to said three interviews is common.

Keep in mind while you wait: If you’re offered the role and it turns out to be your dream move, the delays you experienced will fade from your memory.

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