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Help applicants know what to expect.

Share a timeline of the process and milestones over the course of your hiring process so that prospective applicants can know what’s expected of them and what to expect from your organization. There are a wide variety of approaches to this, but at least offer three big milestones in your process and the time frame in which you expect them to occur. Make this information available to all candidates by posting this on your organization’s website or attaching a timeline to the job posting.

We recommend that you work with your hiring committee to determine this timeline in advance. Consider particular obstacles that might potentially be in your way that may hold up the process, like large-scale events or board meetings, and build in a responsible amount of time. When you offer at least three milest

ones, you may consider offering a framework that begins with the time period in which you’ll be accepting a pool of resumes, a time period in which you’ll be conducting (first round) interviews, and a date by which candidates will be notified of their status. Specific dates are not required, but general dates will be helpful (for example, “the first two weeks of March.”). And, of course, honor this—or notify all candidates in the hiring pipeline that you’ve adjusted the timeline.

A timeline might look like this:

We value clear communication and transparency in this process. As such, we share our guidelines for our hiring process below:

  • January 2022: posting circulated and resumes accepted

January 31: receipt of all resumes will be acknowledged

  • No later than February 15, 2022: candidates advancing to interviews will be notified

  • March 2022: First round of interviews conducted via Zoom

  • April 1-15, 2022: Finalist interviews (visits will be coordinated locally)

  • Desired Start Date: June 15, 2022 (this is flexible, depending on current role)

We also encourage you to be diligent about honoring your candidates’ time, which is both respectful and sends a positive, affirmative message about your workplace culture. Please make sure that you offer appropriate notice

of upcoming meetings, interviews and phone or Zoom conversations, and plan travel in a timely fashion. You also may want to schedule in ways that are most likely to help candidates hold all information in one place: for example, sharing meeting invitations with calendar information and Zoom links inside. This helps you to respect both their time and their process, acknowledging that most candidates are currently employed and applying for multiple positions, which represents a considerable investment in time.

After all, helping candidates know what to expect helps you to know what to expect, too. This shows that you have it together, that you're organized and thoughtful, and that you respect their time, and your own.


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