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Lessons learned in recruiting: The waiting game

Applying for a job is always a challenging experience on its own. Searching for openings on job boards, print ads or even on billboards, is extremely time consuming as it is… and that’s only the first part of the recruitment cycle. While your days doing active job hunting may be long behind you, I think we have all been there at some point, and remember what it feels like, when the recruitment staff asks you to “be patient”…

 

Whether its waiting in a lobby, or waiting for a phone call, waiting is surely the worst part of any application process and often ends up taking 80% of the entire time. I’ve seen many companies where candidates are waiting in the lobby, sitting, staring at the wall for up to 4 hours and above. And I’ve personally experienced waiting for a phone call from a recruiter for it to finally come days after it was scheduled…

 

While I’ve experienced waiting as a candidate, I’ve also experienced it as a recruiters, with many candidates showing up at the wrong time, or not showing up at all. Keep in mind that in a day most recruiters handle a minimum of 15 candidates per day, so while recruiters may have some downtime, they also have incredibly busy period, where they don’t have a second to breathe or gather their thoughts from one interview to the next. If I had a chance when I was a recruiter to manage the peaks and troughs of activity, I would have jumped on it in a heartbeat.

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful for both recruiters and candidates to conduct their interviews without the agony of waiting?

 

Good news: it CAN be done!

While automated assessment tools can sometime seem very impersonal, lacking the “human touch”, they have the unique advantage that they be initiated by the candidate at any time. Interviews where the recruiter and the candidate do not have to be there at the same time are sometimes called asynchronous, and they can effectively eliminate the waiting time for once and for all. As an added benefit to employers, reducing the average response time to candidates represents a competitive edge: they can hire the good talent before their competition does.

Recently, companies worldwide have started to embrace automating certain steps in the recruitment process to make life easier for both candidates and recruiters. The goal is not to change everything but to make better use of everyone’s time. Automation done right can be a huge help in productivity for recruitment, as long as the process is kept warm, friendly, and centered on improving the candidate’s experience

Interviewing can be fun, or it can be boring and painful; but I believe candidates and recruiters would would agree on one thing: nothing is worse than waiting. It is therefore our responsibility as recruitment professionals to explore how automation can improve the overall candidate experience by putting an end to that terrible thing we call the waiting game.

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