Q: I recently completed an online employment application after I noticed a company posted the perfect position for me on the "careers" section of their website. It took me quite a while (over 90 minutes!) because the application form was quite detailed and challenging to navigate. I was delighted when I finally was able to hit the "submit" button and receive a message that it was done correctly. This was on a Friday. Over that weekend, I received an email from a recruiter. I didn't open the email until Monday around noon. I responded enthusiastically and was eager to hear about the role and the interview process. Now I have not heard back from her and it's been three days.
A: You have touched on a delicate subject! This is one of my top complaints when interacting with job seekers. In fact, it drives me wild! If you are actively seeking a new opportunity, checking your email frequently is critically important. Daily checks of your email are expected at a minimum. I would even recommend checking your email at least several times per day if you are an active job seeker.
Typically when an employer approves a new role within a company, there is some urgency to finding suitable candidates for this role. When a company posts a position externally (on their website or on job boards), the company is often inundated with candidates. Some candidates are qualified and some are not. If a qualified candidate is identified early in the process, it is encouraging to the recruiter! The recruiter wants to fill the role quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, with the best candidate.
When we work with clients to find strong candidates, I am amazed when candidates take days to respond to our voicemail or email messages. If at all possible, these messages should be reviewed and responded to within one business day. Your response time is one indicator of your interest level. Most of us have smart phones these days, which are capable of receiving emails.
Of course, I don't know exactly what occurred in your specific situation. However, I do know that plenty of candidates, who took too long to respond, have missed opportunities with our clients.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
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