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Interviewing for a new position can be nerve-wracking, to say the least. A new candidate is excited about the position, applies, even hears back and interviews. For them, the process often takes weeks or even months, from the initial review of the job description to the actual hire. For the team doing the hiring, the process often takes even longer! In this article, we dig into how long this process takes in an ideal world, some hiring process examples to live by, and some tips on what to expect as the candidate and the hiring team. If you use interview intelligence software, this process can be guided to ensure that you don’t miss any steps and adhere to a clear timeline.
Many candidates don’t know what to expect from the hiring process after the interview has taken place, wondering how long they should wait to hear back before they move on. Sometimes hiring teams lose track of time because of all of the candidates they are screening and interviewing, all of the channels they have to go through for approval, and more. As we ask “what is the hiring process” and “how should it best flow,” we hope to provide you with the tools you need to make your hiring process flow smoothly, help your candidates stay motivated and interested, and give your team and easier transition through the hiring process.
From the candidate’s point of view, this is the hiring process they will expect:
The hiring process can vary, depending on the type of job and the needs of the employer. Generally speaking, however, a candidate should expect a few key steps to take place.
First, they will see the job opening and will submit an application, which may include their resume, a uniquely-written cover letter, and relevant references. This is a candidates chance to showcase their qualifications and demonstrate why they would be a good fit for the role.
Once their application has been reviewed, they will expect to receive an email mentioning whether you’ve passed on their application, a screening call, or an invitation for an interview.
After the interview, if they are considered not a good fit, they should receive some communication indicating that they are not moving forward. However, if they are being offered the job, they may be offered additional interview opportunities as well as an offer of employment. The offer should include the job description and all other important details, such as salary and benefits.
Knowing what a candidate’s expectaton are during the hiring process can be very helpful for a hiring team. This knowledge allows you to create and adhere to a hiring schedule and ensure that you are keeping your candidates engaged and interested throughout the process. It’s important to make the process run smoothly and quickly, if possible, because if your candidates are truly well-qualified individuals, it is likely that they are interviewing with other companies or at the very least, eager for a career change. If you have candidates that are particularly well-liked, it’s important to keep them happy throughout the process to improve the likelihood of an accepted offer.
Let’s start with an example of a hiring process timeline so that you know what to expect in terms of timeframes. The hiring process steps may vary from company to company, even from department to department or role to role, so you may need to adjust slightly depending on your needs. However, in terms of timeframes, this is what a candidate will expect.
Step one: Your team creates a job description, it is reviewed by all relevant parties and approved, and then it is shared with the public. You may post this job listing on various job boards as well as your company’s own website and social media, if applicable. At this time, your team members may choose to share the job listing on their own social media profiles or LinkedIn to alert others in the field about the opening.
Step two: Accept applications. Depending on the role, the company, the popularity of the position, etc. you may receive a lot of applications right away or they may trickle in over the course of a few weeks. You’ll know best how your company typically receives applications. As the applications are received, your hiring team or a particular member of the team may sort the applications by candidates that are qualified or interesting to the team.
Step three: Screening applicants or setting up interviews. Some companies don’t see the need to screen applicants, but others find it to be a critical step. This will be up to your company and team to make that decision. If you’re skipping that step, you may launch directly into interviews. Your team will review the applications that have been sorted and someone will call to schedule interviews with the qualified candidates.
Step 4: Interview. This process may take more or less time depending on the number of candidates and depth of the interviews. Ideally, interviews are being conducted within the month after the job has been posted and candidates who are not going to be interviewed have already been notified. Note that some companies wait to notify other candidates until after the position has been filled just in case something goes wrong, like a candidate is offered the position but chooses to take a different offer. Rather than starting the entire process over, the hiring team can go back to a different candidate and resume the hiring process.
After interviewing, most hiring teams have a top candidate, or at the very least, a top two. From there, the process can be much more straightforward.
Creating a hiring process checklist to keep track of each step of the process can be helpful to your hiring team to ensure that they aren’t missing any steps and that everything is happening according to plan. Keep in mind that a smooth and pleasant hiring process is a very important part of company operations. For example, if a candidate has a terrible experience working with your hiring team, never feels like they are in the loop about what’s going on, goes for long periods without hearing from your team, etc., that is a piece of critical informtion for them about how things work within your company that may make them choose to turn down the offer if it ends up on the table.
On the other hand, if a candidate has a great experience working with your hiring team, has clarity about the hiring process steps they are going through, receives clear communication throughout the process, etc., they are far more likely the remain interested in and even excited about the position and accept the offer when it’s made.
An important first step for your team may be to create a hiring process checklist template based off the lists above to ensure that your team is following the steps a candidates expects in the timeline that makes sense to them. This is the best way to ensure that the hiring procecss flows smoothly and the candidates that you are interviewing have a good experience with your company.
Many companies, while hiring, follow a 7 steps in recruitment process, which covers the following main points: Planning, Analysis, Searching, Screening, Engagement, Selection, and Onboarding. These are different words than we used above, but covers the same hiring process steps. If your team following an interview process checklist to cover these main steps, you will meet your candidates’ unspoken expectations and cause less frustration and confusion for them as well as for your own team.
Hiring a new team member does not have to be a headache, even if it does consume company time and resources. In general, you want to make sure that your return on investment with the interview process is paid back in full when the selected candidate is chosen and begins their work. You can also follow some simple steps to help reduce employee turnover which is one of the main ways in which time and money is taken from companies during the hiring process. Rather than wasting time, following an interview process checklist via interview intelligence software like the program offered by Pillar, can help keep your company on track and ensure that your hiring process is a win for everyone involved.