Hurry Up and Wait

by Marcianne Kuethen
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This woman became mired in coastal mud in Kent, UK. Do you feel just as stuck?

By now, if you’re a professional knowledge worker, you’re probably aware that we are in a candidate-driven market. It used to be that employers held all the cards, but these days, you are in demand! It should be a great feeling, but a new glitch has arisen in the hiring process: Many candidates are being asked to hurry up and wait.

New surveys have shown that employers are now taking longer to make hiring decisions–on the average, about 23 days instead of 13, the average number 6 years ago, according to Glassdoor. In spite of their eagerness to get candidates started in their hiring process, employers are also more reluctant to make quick hiring decisions. Considering the huge investment they must make once they onboard someone, no one can blame them for wanting to be sure that person is the right fit. But as a candidate, it can be frustrating to comply with every request a potential employer makes, only to come to a screeching halt in the quicksand of the hiring process while they weigh all their options.

If you’re one of those candidates who feels stuck, it might help to understand a couple of workplace trends, says Nancy Collamer, blogger for NextAvenue.org. The composition of the workplace has recently shifted away from low-skilled, routine jobs and towards higher skilled positions requiring more sophisticated skills. To hire specialized and technical workers, employers are implementing a more stringent screening process that often includes personality tests, drug tests, group presentations, and IQ tests.

Going through the interview process may be stressful, but Collamer gives 7 tips to help you endure the wait. Here’s a quick summary:

  1. Learn what you can about the employer’s hiring process before you apply.
  2. Keep asking about “next steps” at every juncture so you know when it’s not too soon to contact them.
  3. Send a thank-you note to nudge the hiring manager along.
  4. Realize that employers’ plans may change, even if they promise you a decision by a certain time.
  5. Double or even triple your expectations about how long the hiring process should take.
  6. Continue applying for other jobs so you don’t obsess about just this one.
  7. If you get a competitive offer, carefully use it to your benefit.

Surprisingly, being a candidate in a candidate-driven market requires a lot of patience! But understanding where the employer is coming from, and keeping your expectations realistic, will help you navigate the muddy bog of today’s “hurry up and wait” hiring process. Hopefully, the reward for your patience and effort is acquiring your dream job, or at least the next building block in your career.

Candidates, do we have the most current version of your resume? If not, click here to post it, and visit our job board while you’re at it! You or a friend might be a good fit for one of our open positions.

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