Response Time Getting Even Slower

Patience is a virtue!

As a recruiter, one of the most frustrating aspects of my job is dealing with slow response time from hiring managers and HR departments. This is definitely not a new issue but has become more challenging in the last year or two. Candidates often get annoyed with me when I tell them I have not received feedback regarding their resumes. Even worse is when I actually send someone for an interview then do not get the results for several days or weeks.

To job seekers, my advice is to consider yourself an active candidate until you actually hear otherwise. I have seen companies respond in a positive fashion as much as six months after the submittal date. Sometimes, there is an internal delay caused by temporary hiring freezes, a hiring manager who suddenly was sent to deal with an emergency at another site, a change in projects plans, etc. The hard part is nobody usually tells the agency recruiter or candidate what is going on.

To hiring managers, my suggestion is that if you see a candidate you really like, do not delay as the best people are still getting jobs in a timely fashion. Living by the current opinion that their are tons of unemployed people out there will quite likely keep you from hiring the top prospects for your job. If you are having internal delays beyond your control, simply contact the candidates and make them aware of the situation.

While all of this might seem to be a byproduct of the economy, I have experienced sluggish responses from employers throughout the past 25-plus years in the staffing industry. The most extreme case was when someone called me about 18 years ago from a very large telecommunications company. He wanted to set up an immediate interview with an engineer whose resume he had just received. I did not know the name so searched through the files and discovered this candidate had been submitted by a former member of our firm almost two years ago! Of course, the candidate was now gainfully employed and had no interest in the job. Upon calling the client back, I learned his HR department had just sent him the resume that week and indicated it has recently arrived at their office! Some things will never change. Hang in there!  

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Laura Madsen July 11, 2012 at 02:38 AM
I could never understand why a company would post an ad that they wanted to hire someone and then wait months or more before reviewing resumes received or conducting interviews. Once I became in a position to hire others I always made sure I had budgetary approval and that I was ready to roll before I contacted a recruiter or started the procedure for finding someone qualified. I never believed in putting the cart before the horse. If I came across someone I wanted to hire, I never hesitated. Those who snooze, lose. Plus, waiting indefinitely as someone who is looking for a job on the other end of things is frustrating.
Harold Levin July 11, 2012 at 10:23 AM
Laura, Your points are all very valid. Just yesterday, I received a request for an interview for a candidate I submitted over 4 weeks ago. Upon calling the candidate, I learned she was off the market at this time. Now I am awaiting word as to whether they want me to find someone else. They wasted my time and cost me money by delaying so long for a short term, temp assignment. Such is life in the 2000's I suppose!
Michele Guttenberger July 15, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Harold - It is often that the HR dept blocks getting a good candidate from reaching the Hiring Manager. The HR dept just thinks of this as a process but the Hiring Manager has a need. I can understand the delay from a busy hiring manager but there is no excuse when the delays are caused by the HR department. These people should be terminated because the company is loosing good candidates due to their HR's poor work performance.
Harold Levin July 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Michele, The ones who should be terminated are the decision makers who implement the automated resume collection systems and then hire untrained people to sift through the responses and get to decide who receives the resumes! Thanks for your insight!
jazzman July 15, 2012 at 01:31 PM
its all a big show,sorry already made that choice,the " job " .....already taken, someone`s retiring....ok I guess that decision was made years ago!haps right here in town with these phony postings on the board,it appalling but they do it everytime down at the town hall,post the job some where off to side knowing full well that job was already given away by the mayor im sure for favors and work,but we were talking Hr people,OK thats simple all HR people are very arrogant a-holes playing with a little power they shouldn`t have,Thats only if your trying to keep a process WITHOUT curruption in anyway,at onetime busy,... now its slow craw giving them even more time to play the game,best person for the job never ever happens,just bodiesand with heads,... and hiring and firing is our future!Then theres that tidal wave of minority, or female and or veterans of war,All people of education in the last years who have been trained educated in there particular field/career choice need now to get inline again after Obama signed that order for the vets....gag.....


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