For job-seekers and hiring managers alike, the hiring process can be difficult to navigate, especially during times of market instability. The working world as we know it has undergone significant changes over the past year, and staying up to date on the best ways to ensure that jobs are filled efficiently and successfully has not been easy for anyone. But there’s a simple solution that can help: treat the hiring process with a sense of urgency.
Why is a Sense of Urgency Important?
There are two major reasons that creating a sense of urgency is a good idea when it comes to the hiring process. Firstly, it builds excitement - when the process is fast-paced, it adds a sense of importance and enthusiasm for both the candidate and the manager. In contrast, when the process drags on, meetings are delayed, and weeks go by with no progress, both parties can begin to lose interest in and excitement for the opportunity. To keep everyone’s energy and anticipation at peak levels, the hiring process should be as brief and efficient as possible.
Secondly, operating with urgency makes everyone involved feel respected and valued. Prompt feedback and quickly scheduled interviews help job-seekers feel like a company is truly interested in their candidacy. (Remember that great candidates have a short shelf life, and the longer a hiring process lasts, the more likely a company is to lose top talent to a competitor!) And when candidates honor their time commitments and communicate well, the hiring authority sees their professionalism and dedication - both of which are highly prized employee attributes. In today’s busy world, everyone’s time is valuable, and treating the hiring process as an urgent priority helps show regard for time and energy.
Easy Ways to Create a Sense of Urgency
So once both parties agree that a sense of urgency is the best way to approach the hiring process, how do they go about building it? The first and most important way is to set meetings quickly and then stick to that schedule. Treat every meeting, including phone calls and video conferences, with the same respect you would if you were meeting someone in person. Even for those who are working at home with numerous distractions, it’s critical to make these meetings a priority. Plan ahead, create space in your schedule, and arrange for help if needed. For example, a busy working parent might ask a co-parent or babysitter to take the lead on kids’ home-schooling obligations during scheduled meeting times.
Be aware that for both employees and managers, schedules are more packed than ever - not less; you can’t assume that someone will be free to reschedule, so if you’ve committed to a time, do everything in your power to stick to it. If there is an unavoidable conflict and the meeting must be rearranged, make sure to communicate about that as soon as you find out - and do it over the phone, not via email or text message. Reschedule the meeting as quickly and safely as possible to keep the momentum from derailing.
Finally, once meetings are scheduled and held, both parties should communicate their feedback quickly, whether that’s getting an offer on the table, scheduling a follow-up meeting, or deciding to move in a different direction. Not every interview ends with an offer, and that’s okay - but everyone should know as quickly as possible where they stand and how the process will be handled moving forward.
Employers and job-seekers alike are still learning how to navigate this new normal, and the hiring process is one of many things that looks different today than it did a year ago. But fortunately, many are finding success with the simple strategy of creating a sense of urgency throughout the hiring process - by treating everyone’s time and energy with respect, and building excitement about the job opportunity at the same time.