I have bad news for those candidates out there who have been frustrated by slow, drawn-out hiring processes: It seems like they are getting longer. Worrying research from Glassdoor shows that the average length of the interview process increased from 13 days to 23 days between 2011 and 2015.
The reason for this is that employers who have been burned by bad hires are growing more risk averse. As a result, they have begun to incorporate more background screening, skill verifications, and cultural/personality assessments into their hiring processes.
But that doesn’t mean that you, the candidate, have to sit down, shut up, and accept painfully slow hiring processes. Here are a five ways you can subtly nudge potential employers into speeding up a bit:
1. Have Your References on Standby
More and more employers are doing background checks, and one thing you can do to eliminate delays in this piece of the process is to make sure your references are ready. If possible, you should contact your references prior to the interview process and give them a heads-up. That way, they’ll be primed and ready to go when the time is right. Your potential won’t have to play phone tag with them.
2. Chase Your References
You can take it a step further by ensuring that making sure that your potential employers’ reference request doesn’t get pushed to the bottom of your references’ to-do lists. Find out when the employer is going to make the request, and the nudge your references – just a little bit – to respond as soon as they can. Don’t demand that they get to it ASAP – just “check in” with them to see how things are going. That should be enough to get your references moving.
3. Keep the Employer Informed of Your Progress With Other Applications
If you have phone, email, or face-to-face contact with the employer, tell them about other jobs you have applied for and any interviews you’ve had so far. This information will show the employer that you are in demand, and the hiring manager will likely feel some urgency regarding your candidacy. If the hiring manager really wants you, they’ll be concerned that they might lose you to a competitor, and they will be motivated to speed up the process as much as possible.
4. Ask the Employer About Timelines and Next Steps
Asking about next steps will communicate your eagerness to the employer – and it will also get the employer thinking about moving forward.
In fact, bringing up next steps may even give you the chance to actively push the process forward. For example, you might get the opportunity to submit your references during the interview, rather than waiting for the employer to call you for references.
5. At the End of the Interview, Ask About Any Concerns the Employer Has About Your Candidacy
It’s likely that the employer may have one or two concerns about your application. Asking this question gives you the chance to address those concerns during the interview itself. That means the hiring manager won’t have to sit and muse on them for a few days.
You can do a lot to help speed up the hiring process, but it should be noted that, at times, you will just have to accept slow rates of progress. You don’t call the shots – the employer does.
And, honestly, it’s not all bad. These lengthier hiring processes do allow candidates and companies to ascertain whether or not they are really good matches for one another. So, even if it does take a little longer to get a job these days, the upshot is it’s likelier that the job you do get will be more rewarding and engaging.