Interviewing in December can be challenging, for candidates and recruiters. Everyone has time off, travel plans and year end deadlines. Keeping everyone informed and on the same page can be a job in itself. Setting a clear timeline takes the guess work out of the equation.
All year round I try and provide candidates with a clear timeline for the interview process, but at the end of the year it is particularly important. My interview process always begins with a phone screen. During this screen I lay out step by step what to expect. First there will be a phone screen with me, then a technical phone interview with the hiring manager and so on and so forth. I explain how long I expect the process to take, sometimes its 2-3 weeks sometimes its 4-8 weeks. During December, it tends to take longer.
I also find out what my candidates timeline is. When are they looking to start a new job? Do they have travel booked? If so, can I get in touch with them during that time, if so how? Are they waiting on a yearend bonus? If so, when does that bonus pay out?
Finally, I tell them when I plan to follow up. I almost always do follow up on Fridays. I try to keep my interviews light on Friday so I can review everyone I talked to throughout the week and make sure I have everything tracked accurately. I let them know firm dates that I will reach out and them I save calendar reminders to keep myself organized. It’s also very important to tell them about my own personal PTO time and the hiring manager’s time off.
Providing a timeline helps manage everyone’s expectations and it’s easier to keep candidates warm. No one wants to find out that the candidate they offered in December can’t start until April because of their bonus. It might sound like a hassle but it will save you a ton of time in the long run.
By Caitlin Mandeville | People Science Talent Advisor II