When an employer says it may take some time to hear back?
May 20, 2023 7:33 AM   Subscribe

I applied for a junior editorial scholarly position for a political science journal in Canada, and the editor-in-chief said it make take some time to glean through all the applicants. How long do you reckon that would take then? Would it be like a week or more?
posted by RearWindow to Work & Money (12 answers total)
I think the best advice I've gotten for applying to jobs is to not waste mental energy thinking about the applications you've submitted. If they're interested you, you'll hear from them again, if not, you won't (besides potentially an automated rejection).

But to answer your question more directly - I've been applying to a variety of jobs lately, and I've found the normal range is a week to a month (but outliers exist).
posted by coffeecat at 7:54 AM on May 20 [11 favorites]

Nothing in academia ever takes a week. Or two weeks. Or even a month.
posted by spitbull at 8:07 AM on May 20 [42 favorites]

I am in a very different field, but when we get in a bunch of applications for a position, it comes down to whether we are in a hurry (as in the hire is urgent) or not.

If there is a need to move fast, the resumes can be distributed, reviewed, and candidates ranked in terms of should each be invited for an interview within between a few days and a week. Now, those applications were already put into the system earlier, before being aggregated and given to the hiring manager, so those applicants have already been waiting for a couple of weeks at that point.

Then, still moving fast, phone/video interviews can be set up at the beginning of the following week, then decision through to offer can also move fast. Theoretically, the timeline from date of application could be: one week delay sitting in the system, one week of review and interview scheduling, one week with one or more interviews, one week for the offer, acceptance, etc. I've seen it go faster in unusual situations, but also much slower.

If there isn't that same time pressure, then any one of those steps could take much longer, with the delays purely dependent on busy people making time in their day to move things along.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:22 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]

There are lots of questions of this type (answered) on Ask a Manager. Her advice is usually a combo of "it can take a lot longer than you'd think it would" + "the way to deal with it is by assuming you didn't get it, and continuing to apply to other jobs."
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:49 AM on May 20 [4 favorites]

For what it's worth, my initial response was the same as spitbull: when I've interacted with journals as an author, it takes weeks/months for anything to happen. That said, as an author you're corresponding with staff, but primarily waiting on input from anonymous peer reviewers, who are unpaid academics with many other tasks on their plates. I'm not sure how well that maps to the business side of things, but I don't think I'd expect rapid turnaround. I agree on weeks/months as a reasonable baseline expectation in that industry, as a guess.
posted by Alterscape at 8:56 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]

It's impossible to tell. It depends on how much of a priority this is for the hiring manager, what else they have on their to-do list, and how bureaucratic the process is on their side. Keep applying to other jobs.
posted by plonkee at 9:15 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]

For any academia-adjacent hiring at any of several places I’m familiar with, “we hope to move quickly” means weeks and “it will take some time” means months. Maybe many months.
posted by Stacey at 9:29 AM on May 20 [14 favorites]

Oh God, like... three months, minimum?
posted by DarlingBri at 10:47 AM on May 20 [9 favorites]

If this were the US, I would guess that searching now means that they hope for the position to begin in September (or whenever your next academic year starts).

I'd expect at least a couple weeks but if the application deadline has passed and they have all their applications, probably not more than a month to six weeks. Longer if this is the sort of staff hire that's impacted by a civil service system.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:15 PM on May 20

Definitely more than a week. It’s code for don’t bug them (or get discouraged!) even if you don’t hear for a month.
posted by kapers at 1:16 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]

May take some time = 3-6 months? I'd wait at least 2 months before reaching out to follow up.
posted by emd3737 at 1:30 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]

Academia + no time crunch? They will contact you long after you’ve forgotten about it and be surprised that you weren’t waiting for them. (Staff hiring I’ve done has generally taken 1-6 months.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:49 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]

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