When you’re pursuing a job in the banking industry, the recruiting process is often a lengthy one. In recent years, employers have added new hurdles to clear in the hiring process, including phone screenings and skills and personality tests. According to one recent survey, the standard job interview process has expanded to an average of 23 days — a sizeable increase over the mere 13 days it took just a few years ago.
While companies are fighting a desperate battle to secure the top talent, they must also carefully vet prospective workers to avoid wasting precious resources. The resulting long recruiting periods aren’t always easy to handle. The uncertainty that comes with an extended search often results in stress and anxiety, and can make the process an unpleasant one.
With that in mind, we offer a few tips to help you get through a long recruiting process.
Stay relaxed — and avoid seeming overeager
Perhaps the worst thing a job applicant can do is give off a whiff of desperation. Too often those in the middle of the recruiting process panic when things seem to be progressing more slowly than expected. This, in turn, tempts them into contacting the company to see if everything is in order.
This is a bad idea, generally speaking. It conveys the wrong message by making you seem needy and overeager. It’s better to assume a confident posture letting people know that, while you’re interested in the job, it’s hardly your only option.
This doesn’t mean that you have to maintain radio silence, however. A follow up thank you letter or e-mail — and perhaps a well-placed recommendation from someone inside the company — are always acceptable.
Keep your options open
Maintaining a full roster of potential employment opportunities is one of the best ways to keep yourself from feeling stress during the recruiting process. If you know that you have plenty of of other targets to pursue, you’ll be far less likely to dwell upon one unresolved job opportunity.
The best way to accomplish this? Keep applying for jobs, keep lines of communication with recruiters open and keep refining your professional social media presence. One of the single largest mistakes job hunters make is backing off the search once the interview process begins. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. By keeping your options open, you’ll enter negotiations with more leverage — and in a better frame of mind.
Pay close attention to how you’re treated by prospective employers
How a company treats its applicants is a good indication of how its employees are treated. While this isn’t a hard and fast rule, it’s often accurate enough to offer you a good window into working conditions inside the company. If you’re being strung along with little in the way of communication — and treated with bare minimum professional courtesy — the odds are good that the company you’re dealing with views its employees as fungible commodities.
Job seekers who pay close attention to how they’re treated — and balance this information with feedback from other sources — are best positioned to make an informed decision.
Keep sharpening your skills and building your network
Learning new skills or adding to your professional network is another great way to take your mind off an extended recruiting period. By doing so, you make yourself more appealing to employers and widen your circle of contacts.
Just as importantly, maintaining a drive to self-improve will keep your confidence high, even if the length of the recruiting process extends beyond your expectations.
Create your own momentum
There’s one tried and true way to introduce a bit of urgency into a slack recruiting process — get another offer. Companies eager to secure talent will respond quickly if they feel they are about to be outbid. Additionally, another offer acts as a kind of social and professional proof that you’re desirable.
Another benefit: When it’s time to negotiate, having an offer in hand gives you leverage — and a soft landing spot if things don’t work out.
Recruiting processes take longer to resolve than ever. Yet that’s no reason to sit on the sidelines and hope for the best. By following the advice outlined above, you can make the recruiting process more tolerable — and with any luck, considerably more brief.