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Do they really want to hire?

By Sarah Owens on 28.05.15 in Your Job Search

3 ways that employers can unintentionally sabotage the recruitment process and how to deal with them.......

1 Taking too long.  Strangely in what's essentially a skills-short market, some employers still have no sense of urgency.  So the process can drag on for months and months for senior roles, with access to the next interviewer proving slower and slower depending on their position in the hierarchy.  

Savvy clients realise that good people won't be around for long.  But if you're on the receiving end of this behaviour, I'd suggest that you make it absolutely clear via your recruiter, that you concentrate their minds by making it clear you have other options.    If you're going direct though, even this might be tricky as it's very hard to find out who has real ownership and/or control of the process.  Try to identify who has the real need for this hire and talk to them, as they have the most to lose. 

2 Too many interviews. This one is closely aligned to 1 above with some employers expecting anything up to 8 meetings to make their decision.  It can be particularly bad with larger organisations where everyone bar the cleaner seems to be a stakeholder in the selection process.    

This situation can be time consuming enough if you're not working, but if you're working and expected to invest 6 or 7 hours in a 4 or 5 stage process  then it's nigh on impossible, particularly if the employer doesn't interview outside working hours. 

The problem, if you're on the receiving end of this, is that meeting the right people is totally justifiable.   We all want the selection process to be rigorous and the right person to get the job.  So, again, it might be down to a little chat with your recruiter to see if there might be a way to still meet everyone you need to without too many trips to their offices.   Could you maybe meet several people on the same day, for instance?  Worth a try, but ultimately if it's the job you want, you may just have to live with it. 

3 Lack of feedback. This seems to happen particularly when people apply directly for the role and can be a symptom of lack of ownership of the recruitment process.  HR initiate things and do the first meeting but then it gets handed over to line managers who, if there's not a clear review and feedback process in place, carry on without realising that the candidate might want to know how they've done.   Unsurprisingly, candidates can lose interest and as a side effect, share their frustration with their friends, which isn't great PR. 

So a good recruiter will make sure that they're totally on top of things and follow up after every meeting.  As a candidate, you need to do the same, of course, and pass on your feedback.   If you're dealing directly with a client, then remember to send that follow up email with your feedback and ask for a response.