Five candidates waiting for job interviews, front view, crop

How Quickly Your Staffing Partner Should Deliver Resumes


How quickly do you expect to receive resumes from your staffing partner? Recently Talener asked that very question to get a better understanding of the expectations that our clients have in regard to receiving resumes.  Once they have engaged our services and have completed an intake call for a particular position, how long do they expect to wait for candidate resumes.

More than half of respondents indicated that they expected to receive screened resumes for their positions within one to three days of completing the job order meeting. This should come as no surprise to anyone in the staffing profession.  Likewise, companies who regularly use staffing firms typically understand the process for receiving resumes, sending feedback, and setting up first rounds of interviews.

However, if you have never worked with a staffing agency before, receiving resumes in less than 72 hours can catch some teams off guard. If you have been working on filling a job internally for weeks or months, it may feel surprising to get screened candidates within a few days.

How are staffing agencies able to provide these candidates so quickly?

Reputable staffing agencies that have been in business for a long time have developed vast networks of both candidates and clients. Even if your internal team has been actively searching for a candidate for months, it’s possible that the right people aren’t seeing your position. Likewise, they may not be open to unsolicited head hunting if they don’t know the recruiter personally.  In particular, highly technical positions may be even harder to fill as talent is at nearly full employment, offers are highly competitive, and many prospective employees are being bombarded with recruitment calls every single day. Agencies who have existing relationships can break down these barriers – allowing them to return resumes within three days.

Does receiving resumes this quickly from an agency translate in a faster time-to-hire experience? Likely, but it requires preparation. Companies who have never used agencies are often surprised at the speed at which resumes come back.  And in this case, this also means that they are unprepared to move forward immediately.  One of the keys to filling a position is to be able to interview and provide feedback quickly.  If interviewers or decision makers are unavailable or out of office, this impacts how quickly applicants move through the interview process. Demand for talent is too high for companies to determine their hiring process on the fly. You will miss out on quality talent if they don’t feel like their time and skills are valuable to you, no matter how fast you receive their resume.

  • Ask your staffing agency to give you an approximate time in which you will receive resumes
  • Confirm approximately how many resumes you should receive within that time frame
  • If you don’t already have a group of decision makers / interviewers available for the position, ensure that they are aware of the pending interviews
  • Determine (with the help of the agency) how quickly you should expect to start interviewing once the resumes are received and accepted
  • Review expectations with your agency and internal staff about how quickly feedback needs to be provided after an interview
  • Ask your staffing partner how many rounds of resumes you should expect to receive once you begin the process.

Preparation is the key to starting the interview process smoothly. Setting expectations means giving both applicants and interviewers the opportunity to be at their best, expedite hiring, and ultimately lead to positive outcomes for everyone involved in the job.

View our recent case studies and gain an even greater perspective.