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How Employers Hire an Employee

It's the Hiring System, Not the Applicants, That Adds Time to Employee Selection


Woman interviewing a man for a job
Geri Lavrov/ Photographer's Choice/ Getty Images

Sometimes when you're job searching, the wait at each step in the hiring process can feel interminable. You wait to see if the employer received your resume. Then, you wait to see if you will be selected for a job interview.

Then you wait for the interview that is probably a week away. Then, on the day of the interview, you're nervous and worried and still waiting because the interview's at 3 p.m. I feel a lot of sympathy for your plight.

Perhaps some insight into the steps an employer takes to hire an employee will help you understand what is going on behind the scenes. It's really not about you, for the most part. To recruit and hire an employee usually starts with a recruitment planning meeting, and moves on from there. The wait can feel especially long after you experience your first interview as you wait to hear if you will be asked back to meet more potential coworkers.

In a large company, sometimes bureaucracy adds layers of time to the hiring process. Plus, you might be competing with a large pool of candidates. In a state, federal, or local government position, many steps to consider internal candidates must be taken. Sometimes, between the start of a recruitment and the job offer, an agency loses funding for the position.


How Fast Growing Companies Hire an Employee

A lot depends on how fast the company is growing, too. In a fast growing company, the Human Resource staff members are generally swamped with employee recruiting. At the same time, in a fast growing company, many of the work systems are broken. What worked for 75 employees no longer works at 150 or 200 employees.

So, the people who are responsible to lead the charge and hire new employees are doubly swamped; they are creating their hiring systems and recruiting good people as fast as they can. It's a challenge to get back to candidates even to schedule a second interview.


While You Wait

What can you do in the meantime? Make sure you send a thank you letter following the first interview. You will also want to keep your job search system up-to-date and moving forward. A polite phone call is often returned. And, just one time, you can send the Human Resources staff person or the hiring manager an email asking about the status of the position being filled.


In an employee empowering and participatory work environment, the number of people involved in a hiring decision makes selection challenging, too. Just getting five or six people together to do an interview can take several weeks.

But, you don't want to work for a company that does not empower and enable employees, so often the best companies take the longest. I hired an employee once who told me she had a job offer on the table during our first interview.

I told her truthfully that our company would not make an offer to anyone for a minimum of three weeks, so she would need to decide. She turned down the offer and waited because she really wanted the job I had available. It turned out to be a good choice.

I do hope this checklist gives you a solid look at how employers recruit and hire an employee.

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