Answered by Dana, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Thursday, October 30, 2014
Congratulations on your upcoming graduation!
So glad you asked this important question, and I would guess that a lot of new-grads wonder the exact same thing, and why they have not yet heard back from hiring agents. I would keep in mind the following factors:
1) The field/industry you are applying to work for
2) The size and complexity of the organization to which you are applying
3) The market you are applying within
4) The time of year when you are applying
Each one of these factors can drastically affect the duration of the search and hire process. So although it’s been about a month since you’ve heard anything, in some industries this is actually quite normal!
As you’d probably guess, larger companies tend to draw in larger pools of prospective candidates for their openings, which means it may take a bit longer for their internal folks to work through all of the candidate applications and start contacting people 1:1. They also usually have a more complex series of tasks and interactions that candidates must successfully complete, before undergoing a background check and receiving an offer.
Similarly, larger and more competitive markets tend to produce larger numbers of candidates, which also slows things down!
And some industries and organizations really ramp up during certain seasons, or at specific points throughout the year, causing slowdowns in the hiring process. I would definitely keep these things in mind…
With all of that being said, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to follow up to an application within a week or two of applying. This helps show their hiring team that you are highly interested, and eager to provide any additional documentation or information that they may require to move you forward.
If you applied online, carefully explore the site and look for HR contact info. I have also had candidates contact me on LinkedIn, because they discovered I am a recruiter within their target organization. I would hope that most professional recruiters will either reply to you directly, or pass you along to the appropriate recruiting contact if that opening does not belong to them.
If they’ve already provided HR’s general contact info, or an individual recruiter’s info, reach out with a friendly and professional communication. State that you applied, that you are happy to complete any additional steps as needed, and that you welcome the opportunity to chat with someone over the phone at their convenience. You can do this initially via email, and then perhaps via telephone if that avenue doesn't pan out.
Small caveat: You may find that because you are applying to roles well in advance of graduation, that some recruiters won’t take you seriously. Sometimes recruiters have openings that need to be filled quickly, or they have deadlines to meet, and they may assume that because you can’t officially start until the turn of the year, that you are unable to be readily available for interviews, etc. They may also be working with hiring managers who prefer to start someone within the next few weeks, or the next month, and your graduation is just slightly out of that time frame.
As you move closer and closer to your expected date of graduation, I would imagine you will receive higher rates of responses and more interest in your applications.