Regular communication during the hiring process is essential, feds say

Dive Brief:

  • Regular communication with job applicants is key to maintaining the engagement and interest of candidates, particularly in cases where the hiring process involves multiple steps or when there is a risk of losing the applicant to a competing employment offer, an official from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management said in a memo to federal HR directors.
  • Notifications during key points in the hiring process are lacking, according to several sources, including data from an applicant survey, the agency said. A majority of survey respondents complained that they were notified when their application was received but that later notifications were inconsistent.
  • To attract talented and highly-skilled applicants, OPM reminded federal hiring managers to notify job applicants upon receipt of their application; upon completion of the qualifications assessments and whether or not the applicant was referred to a hiring manager; and at selection to let applicants know whether or not they were chosen.

Dive Insight:

  • The federal government — the nation’s largest employer — has often said that it wants to be a model employer. But a lack of transparency and a lengthy hiring process appear to pose significant challenges: It reportedly takes the federal government about 106 days to get from the posting of a job announcement to a hiring decision, and that number has risen in recent years.
  • Private employers that are growing extend job offers in far less time, according to a recent survey; almost half say seven to 14 days from receipt of application to offer letter was the norm; 24% say it takes them 15 to 30 days. But even many of the companies that take less than a week said they still want improve their time to hire, saying that reducing that number remains a top priority for them.