Job Offer Process: Why Job Offers Take So Long

By Biron Clark


Salary & Job Offers

Biron Clark

Biron Clark

Writer & Career Coach

If you’re wondering what is the typical job offer process or why job offers take so long, this article is for you.

As a former recruiter, I’m going to share what goes on in the job offer process, reasons for delays in the process, and why it often takes so much time to get a job offer in your job search.

I’ll also share some tips job seekers can use to get a job offer faster.

Let’s get started.

What is the Job Offer Process?

The typical job offer process involves multiple rounds of interviews and multiple candidates. This is why job offers take so long.

After each interview, team members will meet to discuss their overall impression of you, concerns, strengths and weaknesses, and whether you’re one of the candidates they want to continue interviewing.

Eventually, one candidate is selected to receive a job offer.

Once a candidate is selected, the employer still needs to conduct background checks, decide on a salary, issue a formal written offer, and set a start date.

These are all important steps and considerations for the employer and can lead to a job offer taking longer than you expect.

On average, the job offer process takes five to seven days. In rare cases, an employer could leave you waiting for multiple weeks before you get a job offer.

There’s almost always more than one person involved in hiring decisions for an employer, which can lead to additional delays. The more people and departments involved in the decision, the slower the process will be in most cases.

Next, let’s look more closely at some specific ways that your job offer could take longer than expected, and then I’ll share what you can do to land the position faster!

Why Do Job Offers Take so Long?

Job offers take so long because hiring decisions are crucial for a company and the wrong decision is costly. The interview and hiring process involves multiple people and departments which creates more likelihood of delays, complications, and a long duration.

The hiring process can be delayed while the company interviews other candidates. They may even have made an offer to another candidate and then will move to their second choice if the first candidate isn’t accepting.

The hiring and interview process can also be delayed when a hiring manager or team becomes busy with other work tasks. A hiring manager has many responsibilities aside from interviewing candidates, such as managing their team’s day-to-day work and objectives.

The hiring process can also be delayed if the company has a change in staffing budget or strategy.

Finally, job offers can take a long time if key team members are out of the office due to illness, vacation, or other reasons. The hiring process tends to slow down during the holiday season for this reason.

Read this article for the best and worst times of year to apply for jobs.

Now that you know the job offer process and a few of the reasons that job offers can take a long time, let’s look at how you can speed up your job search and get that offer faster!

How to Get Job Offers Faster

Next, I’m going to share the best ways to hear back faster from employers in your career so that you don’t wait any longer than necessary.

Follow up and set reminders

After each stage of the interview process, ask when you can expect to hear feedback and what happens next.

Ask which person from the company will be in touch, too, so that you know who to contact if needed.

Then, set a reminder to follow up with the employer if you haven’t heard back from them.

Don’t wait weeks after an interview when some low-level HR employee may have simply forgotten to reply or update you. Follow up instead.

Even if you’re rejected for the job, it’s better to know than wait for weeks wondering about the position.

Always follow up. Track everything in Excel or through another method.

Communicate efficiently and clearly

As you’re scheduling interviews and preparing to receive a job offer, you can save time and eliminate waiting by providing clear and accurate info to the employer.

Provide multiple time slots for availability when you respond to an interview request, for example.

Respond to company emails within 24 hours, too.

The more effectively you can communicate, the more likely you are to be offered the position quickly.

Anticipate the employer’s needs

Be ready ahead of time with references, salary requirements, when you can start working, and other information that you expect the company to ask you.

That way, when employers want to hire you, there’s no delay on your end in providing the necessary info.

When filling jobs, most employers will put you through the same steps and require the same info.

So start taking note of what each company requests throughout the interview process, and the process will become smoother with each new employer you talk to.

You’ll get better at this throughout your career.

Don’t stop applying for jobs until you’ve signed a job offer

One of the most common mistakes that candidates make is going on one or two interviews, getting excited about the position, and waiting to hear back instead of applying to more jobs in the meantime.

When I talk to candidates who have been searching for months or even years with no luck, this is one of the mistakes that I hear most often.

Employers interview many people before they hire someone, and you’re only amplifying the chances of a long job search if you stop and wait after interviewing for a job.

It’s better to get multiple job offers and choose the best one than to sit around and wait for an offer that could never come.

So do act interested and excited for each role. Do follow up as needed and stay on top of each company for feedback.

But also realize that companies interview many people on average, and only one person who was interviewed will get the job.

You don’t know who else applied, what they have on their resume, and how their interview went. So it’s dangerous and foolish to assume that you’re getting hired even if you see many signs that your interview went well.

I can’t stress this enough: If you want a shorter job search and are frustrated by offers taking so long, you need to focus on factors you can control like the number of jobs you apply for.

You can’t make an employer choose who to hire in one week instead of two weeks, but you can use that extra time to email 20 new employers. That’s how to get a job offer faster.

Conclusion: Why Do Job Offers Take a Long Time?

There are many factors and people involved in the typical hiring decision and therefore many potential reasons for the process taking so long. Multiple candidates go through multiple interviews, and then each person from the company must meet and discuss those interviews to decide who to hire.

Even after the company knows who they want to hire among those interviewed, they need to decide a salary, conduct their due diligence, and put together an offer with their legal team, HR team, and more.

The exact process and resources involved in putting an offer together depends on the individual business, but it’s almost always a complex process that involves meetings, phone calls, paperwork, and multiple members of the management team.

This is why companies take so long to make a job offer.

Fortunately, if you read the second half of this article, you know how to bring companies to a hiring decision faster while also boosting the number of job offers you receive. If you skipped that info above, I recommend scrolling back up and reading carefully.

Biron Clark

About the Author

Read more articles by Biron Clark