How Long Does It Take for HR to Approve a Job Offer?

How Long Does It Take for HR to Approve a Job Offer?

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The wait for a job offer can be unnerving for all aspirants, especially those seeking employment for the first time. Most companies won’t share with you any definitive turnaround time. So, you may wonder, like many job seekers, how long does it take for HR to approve a job offer?

Generally, HR departments in the private sector take a week up to a month to approve job offers. Some entry-level jobs and walk-in opportunities may lead to an offer in one or two days. Public sector HRs take an average of four months or longer to approve a job offer.

While HR is the point of contact for job seekers, relevant teams and executives are also involved in the approval process of most job offers. Hence, the wait time isn’t solely due to HR. Read on to understand how long it may take for HR to approve a job offer in the private or public sector.

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How Long HR Takes To Approve a Job Offer in the Private Sector

Most private companies have a similar hiring process, but specific jobs or roles demand distinct approaches. Entry-level jobs don’t require as much assessment or scrutiny as mid-management positions. Likewise, executive profiles or senior management roles warrant a longer process.

Also, the law of supply and demand, fundamental to economics, applies to hiring processes. If a job has more eligible applicants than vacancies, any company’s HR will be spoilt for choice. The turnaround time will definitely be longer in such cases.

Conversely, if a private company’s demand exceeds the supply, its HR is likely to expedite the job approval process. These dynamics are at the crux of how companies and their departments function. The hiring process isn’t always limited to administrative procedures and assessments.

The other crucial factors in the hiring process are the industry and job profile. A technical job entails more assessments and scrutiny. However, that isn’t necessarily a disadvantage. Experienced professionals ticking all the checkboxes can get a job offer sooner than a fresher would.

Consider the example of how Deloitte hires experienced professionals. Usually, the company’s HR approves a job offer within one week of the final interview. However, many other companies in the private sector don’t offer such a timeframe to respond with a job offer, such as Accenture.

Therefore, you can expect private sector HRs to take a week up to a month to approve a job offer. This wait time doesn’t apply to spot-offers and many non-technical, entry-level jobs that do not require extensive assessments and comparisons of jobseekers’ profiles.

How Long HR Takes To Approve a Job Offer in the Public Sector

The public sector is infamous for its slow hiring process, whether it is at the federal or local levels.

A local government HR can take an average of 119 days to approve a job offer. Similarly, public sector job approvals from federal government agencies or departments may take several weeks or a few months.

Additionally, public sector job approvals are subject to periodic appraisals and objectives. A lot of these administrative decisions are influenced by legislative processes. Hence, there isn’t any standard protocol for all types of job profiles.

These compulsions for the public sector or governments are similar to the financial obligations of many private companies. Private enterprises typically have quarterly financial objectives and projections, which influence their hiring processes, including HR’s approval of job offers.  

What Does HR Do Before Approving a Job Offer?

Before HR approves a job offer, they must submit reports to stakeholders, compare candidate profiles, verify information in the applications, and reevaluate profiles if more than one person is shortlisted before reaching out to the preferred candidate(s).

Most HR departments don’t intentionally delay approving a job offer, whether in private companies or the public sector. The delays are due to the hiring process itself. Most HRs have to coordinate with a few decisive executives involved in the hiring process. Plus, there are external factors.

Here’s a glimpse of what HRs do before approving a job offer:

  • After interviewing all eligible applicants, including skills and technical tests, HRs compile the enormous data and submit their reports to the department and stakeholders.
  • While the stakeholders, such as managers or supervisors, compare job seekers’ profiles and test results, HR initiates the verification process for shortlisted candidates.
  • HRs verify everything from academic credentials to employment history, and almost all companies nowadays conduct background checks, including criminal records.
  • The verification procedures often involve third parties, so those processes aren’t in the control of any HR department, whether in the private or public sector.
  • A company’s dynamic objectives might lead to changing timelines, which will likely affect a job approval process, and that isn’t about any HR department or its functioning.
  • Should a company or its HR conclude that there is more than one ideal candidate for a position, the team is likely to reevaluate the assessments and those jobseekers’ profiles.
  • In many cases, HRs may reach out to the most preferred candidates with their approved job offers before considering the second-best and subsequent options for those jobs.

Final Thoughts

The typical prolonged hiring processes often don’t apply to job seekers with exceptional profiles. Candidates with unmatched experience or skills for a job can get an offer from HRs much faster than anyone else, even in the public sector, because the authorities can expedite the process.


About The Author

Nathan Brunner
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Nathan Brunner is a mathematician who cares about the job market.

He is the owner of Salarship, a job search engine where less-skilled candidates can find accessible employment opportunities.