How Long Will Job Seekers Wait To Hear Back?

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As a recruiter or HR manager in charge of the hiring role, it’s your job to hire the right person for the job - and that’s no easy task. Countless hours are spent scrutinizing resumes, conducting interviews, communicating with job candidates, and making hiring decisions. It pays to be patient during this expensive and time-consuming process, but waiting too long can ruin your chances of hiring the top talent.


Waiting is the worst. After making a job candidate jump through all of the hoops required during the hiring process, the worst thing you can do is make them wait a long time before hearing back from you. During this stressful time period, they’ll be constantly checking their email, patiently waiting for the phone to ring, and sitting on their edge of their seats. All they want to know is one thing - are you going to hire them or not?

If the answer is yes, it’s time for them to celebrate. If the answer is no, it’s time for them to move on and continue the job search. A few days or even just a few hours can feel like an eternity. They’re willing to wait for you to make a decision, but they certainly aren’t going to wait forever.

A job candidate cannot see what’s going on behind the scenes at HR. Time must be spent reviewing resumes, checking references, collaborating with hiring managers, juggling schedules, interviewing other candidates, or completing important tasks. All of these things must be done before you can send out a competitive job offer to the best candidate. But while you work hard, job seekers are growing nervous and impatient.


To help make this time period go smoothly for everyone involved, always define a timeline with exact dates and times so that job seekers know when they will hear back from you - regardless of the decision. If there is an unforeseeable hiccup, shoot them an email and clearly communicate what’s going on. If you don’t communicate properly or leave a job seeker waiting for too long, it can have negative results.

A good general guideline is to never make a job seeker wait longer than one week without communicating with them. This will show that you value their time and ensure that they don’t jump ship because they think that you forgot about them.

Remember that the most important thing for a job seeker is to find a job. Most job seekers will send in numerous job applications to increase their chances of getting hired. Often the first job offer on the table is the one they will accept. It’s a competitive job market and job seekers have to look out for their own best interests.

Never leave a job seeker waiting to hear back from you. Software, like WorkBright ATS, can help you automate this critical feedback by sending out emails automatically when a candidate is moved from one stage to another. It’s an added bonus that all this communication is in app and not in your personal email.

In short, if you want top talent, it is critical that you communicate regularly, be responsive, and set clear expectations throughout the hiring process!

Ready to automate this communication?

WorkBright ATS can automate communication and keep your candidates in the know, request a demonstration here.

By: Derek Lennon, WorkBright

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