From an employer's point of view, it's an embarrassment of riches, or option overload, if you will. Hiring managers are now taking up to twice as long to fill positions, not because they're having trouble finding viable candidates, but because there are so many good prospects out there, they're afraid that once they make their decision, an even better candidate will come along.
It's the same principle a lot of people use when looking for a spouse. "If I settle down with him/her today, what if someone even better turns up tomorrow?" With so many job candidates out there, you can hardly blame those doing the hiring.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, positions that formerly took two months to fill are now taking four months, and five to six people are being called in for second interviews, where in 2007 it was more like two or three.
These days, HR managers are leaving job postings up longer, and allowing resumes to sit on their desks for more time, simply because they can. "I look at it this way: I've survived all this time without someone in this new position," says Randy Thompson, a small business owner in the Los Angeles area. "I'm not going to fill it until I find the absolute, perfect fit. I'll take my chances on losing the ideal candidate to someone else because I waited too long. The fact is, there are lots of ideal candidates out there right now."
In essence, it's a buyer's market for employers. But that's not necessarily a bad thing for you. Here's why:
- If you somehow missed a juicy job ad and didn't apply within 24 hours, or even a week of it posting, don't worry -- chances are it's still open.
- Hope lasts longer; don't give up on a potential employer just because they didn't get back to you in a week or two.
- You have more time to create momentum. Ever notice how once you get one interview, others start popping up as well?
- Once they finally make you an offer, you know they're that much more committed to you, because they took a great deal of time and effort to find you, and they won't want to go through the whole thing again in the near future.
- Two can play at this game -- you have more time to consider your options, so you'll have a firmer conviction that this job is right for you, and that a better one is not going to come along right after you've signed a contract with this one.
You may be anxious to start working again, but remember: Employers are just being careful, discriminating shoppers, and this gives you the chance to do the same.
Next: Find Your Next Employer, Top 10 Companies Hiring
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