How Long Does it Take to Hear Back From a Job

If you’re looking for a new job, you’ve probably gone ahead and sent out several job applications to positions you found online. After a couple of days, you may begin to wonder when you will start to hear back from these companies. As a job seeker, you have control over several factors of your job search including job applications, resume formatting, and interview preparation. Unfortunately, there are some aspects of the job search journey which you cannot control. Particularly, you cannot speed up the time it takes an employer to respond to your application. Waiting to hear back from a job listing can be stressful and exhausting, especially if it is a job you really want. So how long does it take to hear back about a job application?

How Long Does it Take to Hear Back From a Job Application

Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry answer. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and maybe even longer to hear back after submitting a job application! Indeed claims 44% of job seekers hear back from employers within a couple of weeks of applying. That number drops to 37% to hear back within one week. According to a report by Jobvite, the average time to fill a position in 2018 was 38 days. However, this number varies by company size, industry, and even location! For example, retail had the shortest time-to-fill at 25 day; the industry with the longest time-to-fill was hospitality at 46 days. While this answer does little to diffuse the stress of waiting, you can rest assured that you are not alone. An important point to remember is that an employer’s timeline is different than an applicant’s.

Factors Impacting How Long it Takes to Hear Back From a Job Application

Many factors influence how long it takes an employer to respond to a job application. Factors include industry, company size, experience level, and more. Understanding these factors can help you gauge how long it will take to hear back after submitting an application.

When it comes to company size, many people expect a smaller company to respond quickest. However, Jobvite’s study found that the largest companies (5,000+ employees) have the shortest time-to-fill. This is likely due to a stream-lined hiring process.

Another indicator is the industry of the position. It may come as no surprise that retail has the shortest time to hire. This is due to the skill level of the position, which brings us to the next point. The experience level of the position will heavily influence time to hire. For example, when hiring an executive, the company will have a more intensive screening and interview process. They also spend more time internally evaluating the candidates to ensure they are making the best choice.

Finally, the location of the company also impacts time to hire. This is mainly due to the differences in the number of open positions and job seekers in a region. These differences also impact the number of applicants for positions which requires employers to spend variable time evaluating applications.

What Should You Do After Submitting an Application

When an application is sent, you no longer have control over the process. The most important thing you can do at this point is to control what you can. Applying for multiple positions, checking job boards regularly, and networking are the best way for you to land a new job. While the position you have just applied for may seem like a perfect fit, you cannot sit around and wait to hear back. You will lose valuable time if you place all your eggs in one basket.

Keep Applying to More Jobs

A good rule of thumb is to continue applying for positions until you have a signed employment contract in hand. The job search process is rarely a one application and done process. Estimates vary regarding the number of applications a typical job seeker must send to land an interview. If you have landed multiple interviews, you still need to beat out the other candidates. Even if you have received an offer, it may not be the offer you want! 

Try Multiple Job Boards

While applying to more jobs, try diversifying your job search as well! There are so many job boards out there. It may be cumbersome, but trying your hand on a few different job boards will yield great results. Try looking for job boards specific to your industry, desired position, and even location. Niche job boards often provide advice along with useful information about your field. Also, job search results on these sites are better catered to what you are looking for.

Get a Referral

Applying to jobs is not always enough. You should try networking with other professionals in your industry. One of the best ways to land a job is through a referral. If a company trusts an employee to suggest new hires, they are bound to take that application more seriously. Companies report that referral hires are some of the best hires for retaining long term employees.

In Closing

It can take a company anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to reply to application. That is if they respond at all! Factors from industry to number of applicants to experience level influence how long it takes to hear back about a job. Job seekers should not stand by and wait for a response. Instead, applying for more jobs, trying a variety of job boards, and networking with industry professionals are the best steps you should take to land a new job!