It’s a fast-paced world out there, with answers to every conceivable question available at our fingertips. If someone happens to ask ‘are there any jobs out there for me?’ it’s now easy for them to find out and apply in a short space of time. Simply jump online, locate the role, craft a beautiful cover letter, attach the CV, and hit <send>.
BOOM, off to the company’s HR department! What’s next?
*years in the future, a skeleton collapses over a long-dead mobile phone, thumb still hovering over the cracked screen where the ‘refresh email’ link would have been*
Sadly no matter how quickly an application is made, the wait to hear something – anything – from a company’s fastidious HR department can sometimes be a long and frustrating one. And this isn’t just an issue for candidates. A slow hiring process in this competitive market can actually do significant damage to a company’s recruiting results.
The best candidates will always be inundated with interviews and offers. And while they’re debating which one to accept, you might still be going through applications. By the time you get a shortlist together, the top talent is already gone and you’ve got fewer options on the table. Meanwhile the role is still vacant, costing you money – not to mention the goodwill of all those co-workers having to cover for it.
Yet is HR really hindering your recruitment or is there method in their maddening process?
It’s true that a few HR departments might simply exist to fill vacancies and chalk up the numbers. To keep a beady eye on staff sick days, to nag for everyone’s annual performance reviews, and to document the overall satisfaction of staff members in nice clean percentages – without ever tying these figures in with overall business performance.
But most good HR departments are nothing like this. They aim to raise the value of the company. They exist to ensure that any vacant roles are filled by the best candidates possible and will take however much damn time they need to do that, thank you very much. They know a quick hire might allow you to pick from a better pool, but you’ve also got more chance of getting it wrong.
Plus, we shouldn’t forget that HR makes for a pretty useful scapegoat sometimes. It’s entirely possible – and indeed probable – that they might not be to blame for any hold up. Rather the delay is due to the departmental manager and/or their team, as they try to figure out budgets and roles and job descriptions at the last minute.
"My team of account managers speak to HR Managers on a daily basis who are constantly working to accelerate and improve their recruitment process, but hit a brick wall when it comes to getting feedback from line managers," said Sara Jones, Co-Foudner of Hiring Hub. "They recognise they are at the forefront of their employer's brand, and understand the value of communicating to candidates throughout the recruitment process, but are often working with their hands ties behind their back."
So take it easy on the old HR department. There might be a few which seem to have misplaced the ‘human’ part of ‘human resources’, but generally when they’re taking their time to make a hire it’s for a very good reason. To ensure the company gets the right person for the role.