If you have been looking for work in the past several years it comes as no surprise that the interview process is either a super quick “NO Not You!” or weeks of endless waiting for a decision. Employers are taking a lot of time to check out every applicant in detail before making a decision as if this is a responsible process.
It is good to investigate candidates to determine if they are a good fit, but if you are certain as to what skills you are seeking, the goals for the role and the cultural fit you want for a smooth transition, this can be accomplished rather quickly.
However, if you only have a slim idea of what you need, and are using the interview process to discover what the role should be doing, it can make the interviewing process go on for some time. It is best to go into it with a minimum requirements understanding and allow the candidates to open up the other possibilities they could bring to the role.
What many employers seem to forget when taking weeks and months to replace someone is the burden it places on the rest of the team. The work still needs to get done, and the longer it takes to replace someone, the more work the other team members must absorb. And I can bet dollars to donuts you are not paying them more for the extra work.
But probably the best reason to move the process along quickly is to make sure your candidate of choice is available to accept your offer. How awful would you feel if you finally come to a decision, make a telephone call to make an offer, and the person has to tell you that they have already accepted another offer and are not available? You lost out on your first choice because you took too long to make up your mind!
Another drawback that many employers are experiencing with long decision processes is the extra time they are giving applicants to research your company and yes, you. While social media can often allow for some quick due diligence on both you and the company, nothing beats good old conversations. And when you allow another few weeks and months to go by, the applicant has been able to setup and complete a lot of phone conversations. The real dirty laundry gets aired, and it usually is what costs the employer the most during negotiations.
While you may be just happy as a clam to accept an offer that included a salary range that was discussed during the interviews, now that you have a better idea of what you would have to deal with to get the job done, you just got a bit more expensive. Or maybe instead of money, the title gets negotiated higher, or the job responsibilities change. In all cases the delay works in favor of the candidate and not usually the employer.
And while we have all heard about or looked at the employee reviews on Glassdoor.com, have you read about the interview experience? While they can prepare an applicant for what to expect, they also can discourage others from applying in the first place.
Bottom line, know what you want first. Write a clear job description and list of skills required and create a checklist to quickly eliminate the candidate pool. Interview your best choices, and either acknowledge you want to continue to consider them, or let them get back to their job search. And remember, the longer you take to decide, the less chance you are going to hire your first choice.