Answer: While most hiring managers think their timetable to complete a search is unique, it is subject to the realities of when decision-makers have time to complete the process and extend an offer. There really is a cycle. Here is a blog post about activities for the months of March and April related to the research phase of the primary annual hiring cycle.
CALENDAR – March & April.
EVENTS – Easter Sunday and Passover; Spring Break which varies from region to region and the Trade Show Season swings into high gear.
Rule number one is that a search will always take longer than a job seeker expects—and that the hiring manager will always give you the ideal timetable for the process to move along, if nothing delays the process. The research phase is difficult to estimate since it could take 4-weeks or several months.
Usually the week before and the week after Easter Sunday are booked for personal vacations. Spring break varies widely and families usually plan to be on a vacation with school age children. Trade shows take time to prepare for and then attend. It takes careful planning to arrange time for in-person interviews around these events.
Following the typical pattern, research begins in late February and becomes intense in early March with proactive efforts to identify potential candidates. Some are job hunting and others are “found” through research. Usually this is the work of search firms or mid-level HR executives.
If you are contacted and are interested, it would be good to know how many candidates are being considered for first round interviews and if there is a timetable that the hiring organization has established for a hire. It will take about 4-weeks at least for this phase. No more than 8 candidates and no less than 5 are generally the number selected for in-person interviews. They will have been selected by the hiring team as a result of phone interviews and written recommendations prepared by researchers.