We all know (I would hope) that the business world has a lot of work to do when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. Policies and practices for generations have been designed to favor white, wealthy men – especially as they pertain to candidate recruitment and hiring processes. There are lots of things about the stereotypical hiring process that I could pick apart and analyze, but today I’d like to zero-in one topic in particular: timing.
The agency world, where I spend most of my time, is known for moving notoriously quickly. Of course, finding a qualified candidate isn’t always easy, regardless of what sector you’re in. Maybe the role requires a highly specific skillset, maybe you receive an overwhelming number of applications or both. Having hired multiple interns in my time at Hirons and one full-time position earlier this spring, I know how time-consuming it can be to review all the resumes and cover letters you get – let alone taking the time to coordinate and conduct interviews. For more senior level positions, stakes are especially high to find the right person for the job. However, there’s no excuse for being non-communicative and/or drawing out the process for your prospective employees.
I have watched a multitude of friends, loved ones and people in my professional network fall victim to ghosting from potential employers. I, too, struggled to get responses from companies throughout my time in college – even when I was clearly qualified for the positions.
Being ghosted can happen at any point in the job search process – you may never get an initial confirmation on the application you took hours to perfect, they might take weeks to offer an interview, and they can take just as long to tell you whether or not they’ve reached a decision. Some companies never tell you at all, leaving hopeful candidates with a resounding sense of confusion and self-doubt. Was I really so bad that you can’t be bothered to take 30 seconds and send me an email?
Not communicating with prospects, or taking several weeks in between each communication, is undoubtedly rude and can give off an impression that you don’t care about the candidate or the position you’re trying to fill. It can also be considered indicative of elitism in your company’s culture.
Your prospective employee’s income and livelihood are on the line. As a hiring manager, you shouldn’t assume that individuals are financially able to wait over a month to hear from you. This is an extraordinarily important consideration to make given nearly 17.4 million workers are unemployed right now due to the pandemic.
As more and more organizations look to diversify their staff, business leaders need to know it’s not enough to bring in resumes from diverse candidates. For every step of the hiring process, candidates should feel well-informed and prioritized. Remember: you’re not only analyzing their qualifications, strengths and characteristics. They’re analyzing yours, too.