The Cost of Job Offer Dawdling

Job offer timing

The ‘golden hour’ is a term used in medicine that suggests every second of the first hour after a traumatic injury can mean the difference between life and death. In criminal investigations, the initial 48 hours are deemed critical to whether a case is solved or not. Action saves lives, solves investigations, and in the job world, can mean the difference between a candidate accepting a job offer or rejecting it.

Research by Becker, Connolly and Slaughter for Personnel Psychology in 2010 found that quick job offers resulted in a higher probability of acceptance. The longer a candidate was kept waiting, the less likely they were to accept. This research is a decade old and it wasn’t even new news then!

Studies on the subject date back to the 1970s and beyond. Good candidates are hard to find and offer acceptance isn’t guaranteed. That was true in the 1970s, true in 2019 and true today, even amid a global pandemic. Recent figures suggest that up to 85,000 UK jobs have been lost amid the Coronavirus pandemic so it would be easy to assume that good candidates are aplenty and, as it’s a job led market, they’re bound to accept your offer. That is not the case. Yes, there are more good candidates job hunting than there were in February. However, good people will have options. If you’re able to, now is a great time to recruit talent that wouldn’t normally be available. Don’t miss out on that talent, particularly at the offer stage, because your competitors beat you to it.