Why recruitment process sometimes takes so long

As a fresh graduate, you applied for a job. You were very happy to get a call from the hiring manager of the company inviting you for an interview. You went, completed the interview and the recruiter said ‘’we will get back to you’’

Then, you begin to wait, wait and wait. Each time you remember the hiring manager’s statement-‘’we will get back to you’’ you get a feeling that comes with hope and assurance.

When it comes to recruitment, this is a familiar story a lot of people can relate to. That brings us to the question about how long should it take employers to complete a job recruitment that’ll not throw job seekers into a waiting exercise?

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Tunde Adekunle, a member and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPMN) tells Pulse that the timing varies in the recruitment process, unlike the disengagement process which has a stipulated period according to Labour law and company’s handbook.

He said, “I am not so sure there’s an ideal duration for the recruiting process in Nigeria, just as the law – Labour law and other related laws were silent on the issue.

“For one, I feel it is more of an internal structure and how timely the Human resource personnel wants to fill a particular position either vacant or replacement.

“Technically, it should not be more than two weeks depending on the bureaucratic nature of the organization,”

Hiring process truly varies from employer to employer. The size of the hiring company; the role you’re applying for; and the industry in which you want to work may determine how long it’ll take the employers to get back to you.

That long wait that make you anxious before the job interview.

For instance, Total, a multi-national Oil and Gas company has a four-step recruitment process and that may take a very long time to compete the hiring process.

Prospective employees of companies that adopt multiple-step hiring policy might have to wait for a year after their interview before the qualified candidates among them eventually get their employment letters.

However, while a candidate is waiting for months or years, another employer might decide to offer you the job the same day you go for the interview if they find you attractive and suitable for their jobs.

A South African lady recently shared how she applied for a job at 2 a.m. went for the interview in the morning and got the job that same day.

She tweeted: ‘’ I applied for a job last night at like 2AM. They called me for an interview this morning and I got the job on the spot and I’m starting tomorrow.’’

That was very fast you think. Yes, that’s exactly what everyone is saying but it doesn’t work for a lot of companies that way.

For organizations with multiple step hiring policy, so many factors might be responsible for a slowdown in their recruitment process.

1.   The fear of employing wrong candidates

All organizations want to get the candidates that fits the job. Why would anyone hire an average applicant where there are qualified ones? Hiring candidates that is not suited to the job will definitely cost the company time and money to train them.

2.   A key decision maker is not available

The absence of a key decision maker in the recruitment team might cause a delay in the process. 

Hiring process always involves more than one person and one of the key decision makers of the recruitment process might be on leave or vacation. Until that persons resumes back to work, the recruitment process may not be concluded.

3.   Thorough checks

After conducting a series of interviews and disqualifying some candidates, the hiring managers might also decide to conduct thorough checks on every information the qualified candidates provided in their credentials including their referees.

4.   The staff member with the final say might be busy

 Many factors can cause a delay in a recruitment process.

Another reason that could cause a delay in the hiring process is that, the hiring manager who has the final say over recruitment matters in the company might be very busy with some other projects and might not consider the recruitment as a priority.

Some of these factors in some organizations are inevitable. Possibly, they may be part of organizations’ policy to ensure the best candidates get the job.

So, what should you do while waiting?

No matter how perfect the job that keeps you waiting may seem, you still need to keep applying for open positions. Don’t just sit at home waiting to be called for the job, you don’t know how long it’ll take. Don’t put your eggs in one basket.

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