ASAP Isn’t Always ASAP in Your Job Search

One great frustration for job seekers is the time it takes to get feedback, or next steps from potential employers.

Particularly for someone unemployed… they want a first interview today, to lead to second interview… tomorrow!

All indications from the ad, from the initial phone conversation, and from the first interview has been that they want to get someone hired “as soon as possible”, or they may have even said “yesterday”!

Sitting at home, wanting to get into a job ASAP, it’s easy to think they mean “Right Now” …and they usually do, when they say it, however, realities of their situation are different than yours so timeframes get extended.

Understanding the issues the employer faces sometimes helps to set expectations more appropriately, and reduce stress when you realize that no news is not necessarily bad news!

While a hiring manager would like to have someone on board and productive right away, there are other considerations that often keep that from happening. Things that may delay moving forward include:

  • Additional workload from being short-staffed takes away time necessary to hire someone new… a classic Catch-22
  • Company policies regarding how long positions are posted, considering internal applicants, internal approval processes, and others slow things down
  • An influx of new candidates that seem worth considering stretches out the timeframe to respond to any one candidate
  • A disconnect between wording used and reality (When they say ‘ASAP’, they may mean ‘within the next few months’)
  • “Fires” that come up and need to be put out that take precedence over the hiring process
  • Concluding that a particular candidate is better suited for another need in the organization, and the need to work out details before reconnecting with them
  • Difficulty in making decisions. When presented with multiple viable candidates, it can be difficult to decide on one, so they procrastinate
  • Similarly… fear of making the wrong choice

Certainly there are other reasons as well. However, it’s generally more the rule than the exception that things on the end of the employer move more slowly than the job seeker would like or expects.

Jumping to conclusions about the employers interest then, because they didn’t respond within the timeframe you expected, is unwarranted.

It’s important to follow up, and ask, and professionally show continued interest. However, don’t let your emotions run away with you because of a lack of timely response.

Your ASAP is likely not the same as their ASAP!

Harry Urschel has over 20 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @eExecutives.

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