Commuication is KEY

If I could list the biggest deal breaker on both the company and candidate side, it would be delay in communication.  A successful recruiting campaign or job hunt needs to have a sense of urgency.  Without that, it can send the wrong message to either side.  I’m not interested in your job or I’m not interested in your candidacy.
If you are a candidate, it is critical you give timely responses when:
1)           A company has requested availability for an interview.  If they have to chase you or there are long delays between the request and the response, they could assume your interest level is low and affect your outcome.  If you are in an active job search, make time during the day to monitor your email, voicemail and text messages.
2)           A company has provided you an offer.  Once a company has made the decision that you are the one, they are looking for that warm and fuzzy feeling to be reciprocated.  Delays at this stage of the game can have companies second guessing their choice. 
If you are a company, it is critical you give timely responses when:
1)           A candidate submits a resume.  Make sure you run ad campaigns when you are ready to focus on hiring the position.  If weeks go by between the time a candidate applies and you call to request an interview, they are less likely to remember your position and what attracted them to it in the first place.
2)           Feedback on a candidate interview.  For every candidate that leaves an interview enthusiastic, each day that goes by without feedback that interest level diminishes.  Delay sends the message that there might be someone else out there that could do a better job.   Giving feedback and letting a candidate know what to expect in the timing of decision making is critical to keeping an engaged interested candidate.
3)           You intend on making an offer.  Typically hiring is a group decision with a complex matrix of differing opinions and ideas of who should fill a role.  Since it usually isn’t an easy feat to come to a consensus, when you have that this is the time where you should show the most sense of urgency.  In a tight market, hours can be the difference of losing a candidate to a competitor. 
4)           Background checks and onboarding.  Some companies drop the ball here.  They already have the signature and feel they are on easy street.  But this is usually the most confusing time for a candidate having one foot in and one foot out.  Solidify their hire and that they’ve made the right decision by keeping in contact and building relationships early.