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Sense of Urgency

July 27th, 2006

I had a cool topic that I was going to blog on today but I just got an e-mail that totally changed that. This topic has been in the back of my mind for a while…

The e-mail was from Company X. You know them – I’m sure you’ve applied there too. Here’s the all-too-common story:

I applied to a sr. analyst position about 2 months ago. I went through their typical online procedure (fill out a resume online, even though I just sent them their resume – you’d think that some of these companies would spend a little bit of money and buy some software to take your resume and dump it in their system – but no – you have to fill out their usually buggy forms).

I get an automated e-mail right away that says something like “Thanks for applying. Don’t contact us. We’ll contact you if we are interested.” (Don’t you love how personal these e-mails are?)

So… two months later I get this e-mail saying “we’ve already hired someone else. Thanks a lot for applying.” Yawn.

What does this have to do with sense of urgency?

My sense of urgency was a 10 out of 10. I wanted to get a job FAST.

They say they are anxious to hire someone, get the position filled, etc. You’d think that every day they don’t have the person in place they are losing money (there is value in having someone do that job – that is why they are willing to pay someone to do it!). They say their sense of urgency is high (lets say 8 ) but they take 2 months to get back?? Sounds like a low sense of urgency to me — like a 2 or 3.

Here is my point.

If you are in a position to be “between jobs”, or if you are thinking about switching, you MUST understand this sense of urgency issue.

Salespeople understand the issue – in sales it is called SALES CYCLE. They find a hot prospect and know that it might be 6 – 12 – 18 months before they close a deal. 18 months is a long time! And the salesperson doesn’t go spend the commission check until the sale is made.

You need to understand that your sense of urgency is going to be DIFFERENT than the company’s sense of urgency. It is not bad – it is just a factmake sure you plan for it. Understanding it will help keep your emotions in check.

Oh yeah – one more thing – if they profess to have a high sense of urgency (ie, they want to fill this position quickly) this might be true, but again, not the same as what you understand it to be. Check out these different perspectives:

Me (high sense of urgency): I want a job FAST. Today. This week! Now!

The Company I Apply To (high sense of urgency): I want to fill this position FAST. This quarter. This fiscal year!

Fast does not equal Fast.

Anyway, just a sanity check. Add this to your job-seeker-mentality.

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9 Responses to “Sense of Urgency”

  1. GoodRecruits says:

    Recruiting and the ‘Dual Coinidence of Wants’ problem…

    Its hard to find a job when you need one.  It just as hard to hire a good employee when you need one.  It’s because of a natural economic law called the "Dual Coincidence of Wants".  Let me show you how you can help to overcom…

  2. [...] This entertaining vignette is from a recent post on Jibber Jobber blog. Entertaining if you aren’t looking for a job or trying to fill one, that is. [...]

  3. [...] “I get an automated e-mail right away that says something like ‘Thanks for applying. Don’t contact us. We’ll contact you if we are interested.’ (Don’t you love how personal these e-mails are?)” (From Jibber Jobber) [...]

  4. [...] Here’s a typical story from a job candidate: “I applied to a sr. analyst position about 2 months ago. I went through their typical online procedure (fill out a resume online, even though I just sent them their resume – you’d think that some of these companies would spend a little bit of money and buy some software to take your resume and dump it in their system – but no – you have to fill out their usually buggy forms). I get an automated e-mail right away that says something like ‘Thanks for applying. Don’t contact us. We’ll contact you if we are interested.’ (Don’t you love how personal these e-mails are?)” (From Jibber Jobber) [...]

  5. [...] Here is one of probably thousands of stories out there about a qualified job candidate who was barely even given the time of day: “I applied to a sr. analyst position about 2 months ago…I get an automated e-mail right away that says something like ‘Thanks for applying. Don’t contact us. We’ll contact you if we are interested.’ (Don’t you love how personal these e-mails are?) “So…two months later I get this e-mail saying ‘we’ve already hired someone else. Thanks a lot for applying.’ Yawn.” (From Jibber Jobber) [...]

  6. Salespeople understand the issue – in sales it is called SALES CYCLE. They find a hot prospect and know that it might be 6 – 12 – 18 months before they close a deal. 18 months is a long time! And the salesperson doesn’t go spend the commission check until the sale is made.

  7. Jason says:

    Pozycjonowanie, I agree… and I was even doing sales for at least the last 12 months of my job… the term “sales cycle” came up a lot. But I was thrown off because I was “in a hot job market” and I didn’t think that my “job search sales cycle” would be long… this is one of those simple transferable principles that really caught me off guard!

  8. James Burt says:

    Different people have different sense of urgency. I am a person who loves to do things fast, so my sense of urgency is 7-9 if i am assign a job to be done, i will get it done asap . Like wise, for my brother, when i tell him that i need to use the toilet urgently, he will still take his own sweet time to do his business and do not care about what you are telling him.

    I feel that a company replying after 2 months is too much. Imagine if the person is unemployed and need a job to feed his stomach, guess the person would be dead by then. Maybe you can send a reply ” Thanks for the reply, the job seeker is dead by now!” LOL

  9. [...] 2012 How could I have forgotten about this post?  It is an amazing concept.  In a nutshell, my sense of urgency as a job seeker is very different than yours as a hiring manager or [...]

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