I love the dance that begins once someone has accepted your offer and you’re now talking about a start date in the new role. Especially if they’re employed. Here’s the usual intervals and what they mean to me. I’m sure you’ve got some adjustments to these definitions:
For Those Currently Working:
–No Notice Needed, I can start in under a week – Your employer’s either walking you out because that’s their policy for a position like yours, or your position in the company is so damaged that walking out without notice won’t harm your reputation further. (Old school note – back in the dot.com days, it could have meant an option grant at your new company was being issued that week….)
–One Week – Your employer doesn’t have a “walk them out” policy, but everyone thinks it better if you wrap things up and get out at the end of the week. No reason for you to hang around and tell everyone about your new gig.
–Two Weeks – Because that’s what everyone has been told by Ms. Manners that it needs to be. Both your candidate and the current employer. Usually a good thing from your perspective for the candidate, because they are picking honor over expediency.
–Three Weeks – For a professional involved in a lot of stuff, it’s almost impossible to wrap in two weeks. That’s why three weeks is the new two weeks for professional positions with a lot of responsibility. This means your candidate is doing the right thing by their current employer. Your hiring managers won’t like it (ASAP please), but they’ll respect it.
–Four Weeks – This means your candidate is pretty attached to their employer, and it’s 50/50 whether they’ll show up on the report date. Touch base early and often, because the probability is abnormally high they’re not coming.
For Those Currently Not Working:
–Report Immediately – They’re ready to work. The expected response.
–One Week – They’re catching up on past seasons of “Lost” via DVD sets.
–Two Weeks – They really aren’t ready to go back to work, but know they need to. To delay it as much as possible, they ask for the norm…
–Three Weeks – They’re going to cram in a trip before they change their lifestyle of sleeping until 10am.
–Four Weeks – Hey Nostradamus, they’re still actively interviewing, hoping they can land a better gig before they have to report… Nice…
3 weeks is the new 2 weeks for those currently employed. Like C&C Music Factory, anything else makes me go hmmmmmm.