Random Thought — Why do employers take so long to hire?

I’ve been out of work for about 3 and a half months, give or take. Statistically, that’s not so bad considering it can be up to a year for a lot of people in today’s economy to find a new job, not that they’re not looking. For the last 3 months or so, I’ve been scouring job boards, company sites, Craigslist for full-time and freelance gigs, and have sent approximately 350 resume’s and cover letters to potential employers. I think my resumé is pretty good, and I have customized versions for the different jobs I’ve been applying for, making sure key words are there for the job, and cover letters are each tailored to the job I’m interested in.

Yes, I realize there’s a TON of competition out there these days, esp. on places like Craigslist. I have had some recent luck to a point by at least getting more calls from headhunters who find my resumé on my website (http://www.gregschumsky.com) or LinkedIn (I still wonder if LinkedIn is a HUGE waste of time or if it really works for the whole networking thing…haven’t had any luck from any of my 139 or so 1st degree connections). So we’ll see what happens next.

But the subject here is about how it seems employers are taking their own sweet time to get back to people who have applied for those coveted jobs. Example: The fiancée of a friend of ours had applied for a position at UCSD back in FEBRUARY of this year (2009). He hadn’t heard anything for a few months — not a “thanks for applying, but…” or a “We’d like to interview”. Then he finally got an interview with them. Months passed before he was finally offered the job earlier this month. WHAT???

So, I wonder why employers take so long. Is it because they are swamped with resumé’s? Maybe. Do they actually think the top candidates they really want are still available months later and haven’t found another job? I mean, really, do they actually think that?

I’ll give you another example. My last employer kind of did the same thing, only didn’t wait months before they hired someone. In actuality, they moved pretty quickly, or I’d say within reason. Unfortunately, they even lost out on getting the best man or woman for the job, because their window of opportunity passed right in front of them and that candidate got an offer from someone else.

Each time that happened my bosses were pretty disappointed — either that the person of interest took another job because they needed it and didn’t (or couldn’t) wait around for us to make a decision, or in the process and how slowly it took their bosses to get the paperwork through in order to make an offer.

There were some really great jobs I applied for months ago I haven’t heard hide nor hair from since. Not a “sorry we’re not interested” (even though my resumé and background matched their requirements and then some), or “we’re reviewing”.

In any case, I feel that any employer should be more professional, courteous, timely and communicative when looking for someone to fill that next open position. It’s only fair to both the employer and candidates.

And that’s my current random thought.


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