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 Add Some Speed to Your Job Search!

By Joe Stein

I was on the phone with a Job Seeker last week, who was complaining about the amount of time employers take to fill a position. As I listened, I began to agree that some positions do seem to take a long time to be filled. 
So, this week, why don’t we take a look at why positions seem to take forever to fill, and what a Job Seeker can do to move the process along.
Why Do Some Positions Take So Long?
·         Finding the Right Person – For most positions beyond entry-level, an employer is intent on finding and waiting for the best person for the position. Usually this is within a certain length of time, but not always. Some employers may be content with keeping a position open until they find the right person, rather than reaching for someone who may not work out.
·         Interview Process – In modern times, many employers are now using behavior-based interviewing and score carding (i.e., ranking them) candidates. Also popular now, is to have candidates meet with multiple individuals to generate different perspectives on the individual. All this work takes time and relates back to the first point which is: finding the right person.
·         Scheduling – During different times of the year, like summer and holidays, it may be difficult for an employer to schedule interviews with the right people. This will often delay the process slightly.
·         No Consensus – If you have made it to the final set of candidates, a delay will often be an indication that there is not a consensus amongst the interviewers. They may be working through this internal disagreement to select a candidate, or (in a worst case scenario) may start the search all over.
·         Financial Reasons – Perhaps the prospective employer is waiting for their fiscal year to begin in order to free budget dollars for the open position. It could also be that they like not having the salary on the ranks for a couple of months to beat budget before they fill the role.
·         Prospecting – Sometimes a company will prospect for future openings. This may be due to future growth or a position that is not vacant yet, but they expect will be. If this is the case, an employer will move slowly because there is no immediate need to fill a position.
·         Benchmarking – This is done when a prospective employer wishes to compare the external candidates with a desired internal person. The company may move slowly, knowing they already have the commitment of the internal person if they choose to go in that direction.
·         Not Ready to Regret – This may be for numerous reasons, but many companies do not send out regrets until they have the position filled. So, although there may not be a real interest in you, they are holding you either for administrative reasons, or in case they change their mind.
What You Can Do To Speed The Process Along:
·         Be Flexible – Work around the scheduling needs of the prospective employer. This is especially true if you are currently without employment. Do your best to not make scheduling an issue on
your end. 
·         Be Accessible – Provide the recruiter with both your home and mobile phone along with your e-mail address. Try to be near one of the phones at all reasonable times and check your messages frequently throughout the day. Accessibility is good, but, you do not want to sound desperate, so don’t leave multiple return messages.
·         Be Organized – Having a system that accurately tracks each position you have applied for and the key points, will go a long way towards allowing you to have a good conversation (immediately) with a recruiter and avoid a time-sapping reschedule when they initially call.
·         Anticipate Needs – As your conversations progress with the prospective employer, anticipate any needs that they may have for you. For example, if you expect them to need references, do not wait until they ask to begin to assemble; rather you should have them ready to go immediately.
·         Don’t Complain – Complaining about how long the job search process goes, or how long this particular employer is taking will not improve your chances of landing the job. This is the last thing a recruiter or Hiring Manager would like to hear from a candidate.
·         Network – Sometimes it pays off to strike fast. Networking can often uncover positions before they go out to the public. In a best case scenario, a company will find that you are perfect and choose not to go public with the position.
·         Walk-In – This tip works best for more entry-level positions where “old-fashioned” pavement pounding still is strongly recommended. Stop-in and actually visit the place you want to work. Ask for and speak with the Manager. You may find yourself leaving with an interview scheduled or a new job.
·         Ask About the Search – Ask the Recruiter for the timetable regarding the search and inquire whether this is a new position or a replacement. Inquire regarding whether there is a possible internal candidate. Schedule a time when you can call to follow-up on your status. All of this will serve to alleviate some frustration as you will know ahead of time what to expect. If something changes in the timeline, professionally ask what caused the shift in plans.
The process of finding a new job can take some time; many estimate that for positions beyond entry level, you should expect your search to take 1 month for each $10,000 in yearly income you desire. There are some steps you can take, however, to move along the process with a prospective employer. You just may find that yourself landing the position quicker than you thought.
 As always, I wish you the best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of website visitors. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
Joseph Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional