One of the positives of a very tight labor market is that companies are not wasting a lot of time in making job offers to people they want to employ. Slower moving companies in the hiring process have lost out in acquiring talent, either because their procedures have been cumbersome, or the interviewing decision-making was taking too much time. When deliberations take too long, the primary candidate is no longer available.
Two current clients of mine demonstrate the trend. One was being interviewed by an international technology company for a division job in manufacturing. He interviewed with a panel of potential subordinates, his boss, then the boss’s boss along with an extensive tour of the facilities, all in one day. He received an offer within a week, accepted within 3 days and started about a month later.
A second client wanted a change from a university setting to a for-profit organization. His background and experience matched an opening in a new technology application in most all areas except for the product itself. He interviewed with the working team, boss and executive in a one-day trip. He hit it off with everyone and received a letter of offer within a week. After some minor negotiations, the company gave him his asked for requests and accepted the offer within 10 days. He started about a month later. Both clients also received benefits/insurances between 20% and 30% better than their current programs.
Companies are responding to a tight labor marketplace that has limited available talent and strong competitive forces looking for the same high performers. Their only alternative is to streamline the hiring process in order to quickly employ the talent they need. Additional incentives are becoming more normal: Hiring bonuses, hybrid work schedules, and perks that encourages a candidate to make a positive decision sooner rather than later.
From the candidate’s perspective, the shortened time line puts pressure to accept the job offer quickly. This can be problematic:
- There may not be enough time to fully assess the comfort level and fit with the organization. An hour interview with the “team”, boss or executive is very little time to evaluate issues to be addressed, expectations, and the management style: Autocratic or participative?
- Was the interview process just a show? Will the promises, work objectives and relationships dramatically change once the candidate is in place?
- The risk/reward equation. Why is the job open? Is there a staff churn? Will a new boss arrive within a few weeks? What happens if it doesn’t work out? How much risk is there within the function for which you may or may not be prepared or experienced? Does the potential reward make up for the risk, short and long term?
It’s a good feeling to get a job offer within days of interviewing. On the other hand, you need to take the time to assess your decision based on more than just the quickness of the offer.
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