Your Candidate’s Time Is Running Out ⏳

by | Jul 13, 2022

Just like a candidate’s time, your time is finite ⏳

The older you get, the faster time goes. And the more it matters how you invest it. Because you can’t earn more. When it’s gone, it’s gone. Sobering, right?

If you don’t know Ed Han, you should. Though I am biased because he is one of the kindest and most generous TA pros around. And not just to me and his peers, to job seekers with the advice he shares daily using #LinkedIn #tip4day.

On my candidate ghosting article, Ed added:

 ‘One thing that I think deserves being called out on its own is time. The amount of time that candidates are sometimes asked to invest, whether from how many interviews, interview prep, assessments, technical interviews, etc., is utterly rude. And particularly as we slowly move towards a post-lockdown world, people are really prioritising their work/life balance, carving better minutes out of every hour. Other than senior leadership roles, I’m really struggling to understand the purpose in holding more than 3-4 rounds of interviews. It isn’t *that* hard to have panel interviews.’


Panel interviews save a candidate’s time

After Ed had planted the seed to this article, I saw this thread on Twitter. It started with this interesting question:

Image of a tweet about a candidate's time

And there are some great responses, with the vast majority of people thinking it’s fair to let the candidate complete the loop because there could be factors like bias or nerves involved.

I agree but all I kept thinking was, ‘OMG I could not do a 3 hour interview session, I’d need a pee!’ Ok, ok, that might be too much information for some sensitive readers but I would be nervous, possibly dry mouthed, so drinking water. And as a female, this would be even worse in the morning.

Do I interrupt the flow and ask for a break? How would that reflect on me? Does that make me a worse contender? Would I be ruled out on this basis alone? Actually, I can’t bear thinking about it so I was relieved to see these two tweets in reply.

Both mentioning time. Both with empathy for the candidate’s time.

mage of a tweet about a candidate's time
mage of a tweet about a candidate's time

Like Ed has, Luisa suggests a panel interview. What is stopping you from organising panel interviews? Or is it more apt to say who is stopping you? Hiring leaders or your own resistance to shaking up the status quo for the greater good?*

Of course, panel interviews have to be fair to the candidate! So don’t use them if your hiring leaders are not prepared to set aside time to answer the interviewees questions. But, ultimately, there is a need for more respect and common sense when it comes to how we waste a candidate’s irreplaceable time.

Because, people don’t have to stay in your interview process. Even when you’re a FAANG. People can see all of the other job opportunities on the Internet and they can choose to opt out. People can see all of the people working in companies and they can connect with them to open doors. People don’t have to stay in your hiring loop.

* If you’d like to get better at influencing your hiring managers, check out The Collective launching in August.


Where you never shorten a candidate’s time!

Recruiters and companies expect applicants to invest irreplaceable time jumping through countless hoops just to begin the recruitment process. Then interviewees endure round-upon-round of time-sucking interviews to not, far too often, receive feedback or closure.

And then this below! Recruiters advising others not to make offers on a Friday lest the applicant should think about this this life-altering decision too much!

What utter rubbish! Or as Amy subtly puts it… (shared with permission)

Your Candidate's Time Is Running Out ⏳ Katrina Collier
Your Candidate's Time Is Running Out ⏳ Katrina Collier

Hey, I am not saying give them weeks to think about an offer but be reasonable!

We play with people’s lives and livelihoods. Many people are only a few pay cheques away from homelessness so pressuring them into accepting a job, that could potentially not work out, can have devastating consequences.

Your reluctance to give people time to mull over an offer suggests to me that:

  • trust hasn’t been established by you and your hiring panel
  • you’re hiding something or conning them into the role
  • you’re an agency recruiter solely focused on the fee
  • they’ll start and leave because they regret their choice
  • they’ll decline the offer due to the pressure

Not saying you won’t occasionally get an instant acceptance. If you have delivered an exceptional candidate experience, your hiring panel did their job, and every last concern the interviewee has had has been addressed, you may well get an immediate yes.

But you’d still be wise to give them some time to be sure. Because you want them to start, be happy, and stay.


Then don’t let them waste time stressing!

Once they say yes, don’t make them wait for the written offer!

Get it out promptly. Get your screens done. And swiftly make them feel welcome before ‘buyer’s remorse’ sets in. (The TA to HR speed bump ruining the candidate experience & negating offers is often why I am called in to run workshops!)


Time is running out

Your time. Your hiring managers’ time. Your candidates’ time. It’s finite.

Remember that. Always.


Originally posted on LinkedIn in the Recruitment Isn’t Broken newsletter. For more, be sure to subscribe below, grab Edition 2 of The Robot-Proof Recruiter, check out The Collective, and listen to The Hiring-Partner Perspective.

Edition 2 is out! 🥳

Fully updated for 2022, The Robot-Proof Recruiter

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