Candidates want quick decisions

Whilst candidates think that waiting seven days for a decision following an interview is ‘reasonable’, companies don’t seem to be on the same wavelength: research last year showed that the fastest responses from companies averaged 17 days in the South East and a very long 36 days in Scotland! No wonder many candidates feel obliged to accept an offer from their ‘second choice’.

So why is it that companies are so slow to let the candidate know the outcome of their interview? It can’t be that their technology is slow so could it be down to inefficiency, or the fact that they are so busy, or the fact that they are waiting to meet more candidates? Even possibly that they don’t want to give bad news out?

Some of the projects we have worked on can have considerable delays following candidate interviews, mainly due to international travel and business commitments. In many cases it is not a problem for the candidate as they too, are very busy. However, it often happens that when the client eventually comes back and wants to see the candidate again, or even offer them the job, they are surprised and shocked when the candidate advises them that they have accepted a job elsewhere (their ‘second choice’) or don’t want to work for the company as they did not feel wanted.

The last thing that a company wants or needs is a reputation for treating candidates ‘badly’ as this can soon get around their industry, making it much harder to sell them to a potential candidate in the future.

Candidates are no different to the rest of us in that a decision – whether yes or no – is better than a wall of silence and no feedback whatsoever.A decision at least acknowledges that they took the time and effort to come and see you and showed a positive interest in your company.

A great rejection can enhance your reputation, particularly when compared to a lengthy delay and no rejection or feedback at all. You never know: they may even become a first choice candidate in the future, or your boss – now that would be interesting?