Timing is Crucial

November 15, 2013 2 mins read
Timing is Crucial

White-collar workers like to throw around the word "timing" when discussing work stages and the optimal time at which to pursue a specific objective.

For example, they might say "the timing's right, let's snatch this growth opportunity," or "I think the timing's right to go for a promotion." When balancing the needs of hiring companies and job-seeking candidates, the concept of timing is also important for recruitment consultancies.

All employers agree that a stable employment history is an extremely important factor in a successful application. This component is a strong indicator of a given candidate's job loyalty and work attitude. We won't recommend a candidate who has switched jobs repeatedly in the past. Even if there really are extenuating circumstances, it's hard for an employer to believe a job seeker has truly encountered such a long series of events outside their control that forced them to quit. For this reason, we recommend candidates do their utmost to spend three years in a given post before searching for potential opportunities in elsewhere. In this way they can better pave the way to future career success.

When recommending candidates to companies, it's also important for us to put an emphasis on the art of timing. If a given position has attracted a lot of candidates and we send our strongest applicants to the hiring company right off the bat, the company's expectations will be sent soaring and remaining candidates will find it nearly impossible to enjoy even cursory consideration. If the time is drawn out for too long, this will also affect applicants’ enthusiasm for the position and original motivation for applying. A more suitable approach is as follows: In the first batch of recommended applicants, send the client a mix of middling to high-middling candidates. The candidates with the strongest backgrounds should be saved for the middle or late-middle periods, for example, after the client has just finished interviewing the first batch. Proper timing can help recruiters increase their recommendation success rates. Of course, this is somewhat of a generalization, projects will always vary based on candidates, clients and the overall situation—flexibility, after all, is just as important as timing.

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China
mmai@morganmckinley.com