The 30-Day Rule

A slightly shorter version of this post appeared on my LinkedIn Profile.

When I see a job advertised, I somewhat naïvely think that the organisation has a business requirement to make an appointment. They need someone to fill a gap, business will suffer if they don’t fill it with the best candidate possible as soon as possible.

I’m starting to realise I might be wrong.

In my mind, and being a practically-minded person, the recruitment process is fully planned out beforehand. A date is set to advertise the post, a closing date is chosen, a day is set aside so that the interview panel can review the applications. The selected applicants are notified of the interview date, turn up and get the result in good time. A bit like proper project management, with Gantt charts and suchlike. Someone has to book the interview room, after all. Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance, and so on.

Hence my 30-Day Rule. From the closing date, short-listing of applicants should take no more than 10 days. The interview should take place no more than 10 days after that, and the result should be known no more than 10 days after that.

You could even complete the process in 31 days: 14 days to advertise and take applications; sift and interview over the next 14 days; make an offer no more than three days after that. After all, some people have to give three months’ notice, not just the one.

I know it’s possible, because a few of the jobs I’ve applied for give the proposed interview date along with the job advert. But many organisations take a much more laid-back – and unhelpful, from the point of the applicant – attitude to the recruitment process.

I’m still waiting to hear on a job I was interviewed for in late May. If I’ve no chance of getting it just put me out of my misery, why not?

Another one had a closing date in late April. Interviews would, I was told, be held in mid- to late-May. Ten weeks later, not a word. I applied on-line via their jobs portal, they even asked me for feedback on the application process after 40 days. What’s the craic?

What do you think? Should the whole timetable be publicised in advance, along with the advert? Or should we applicants be kept in the dark as much as possible, as a reminder of where the power lies in this relationship?

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