People interested in this topic should read this post about how EAF ran their hiring round. They seem to have a good setup: only 25% of applicants were asked to take a work test, and only 25% of those tested were invited to a work trial (the other 64 of 68 were estimated to have invested <10 hours).
I’d love to see other organizations within the EA community publish similar numbers, though I understand that it can be tricky (e.g. someone might learn they were the only person interviewed who didn’t make it to the next stage).
The following is a rough breakdown of the percentage of people who were not asked to move on to the next round in the Charity Science hiring process. These numbers assume one counterfactual hour of preparation for each interview and no preparation time outside of the given time limit for test tasks.~3* hour invested (50%) - Cover letter/resume~5 hours invested (20%) - Interview 1~10 hours invested (15%) - Test task 1~12 hours invested (5%) - Interview 2~17 hours invested (5%) - Test task 2~337 hours invested (2.5%) - paid 2-month work trialHired (2.5%)So, 95% of those not hired spend 17 hours or less, 85% spend 14 hours or less, and 70% spend 5 hours or less.
*changed from 1 hour to 3 hours based on comments
1 hour for Cv/cover letter seems extremely optimistic...
For what it’s worth, I think I’m unusually slow at this but I personally couldn’t come close to writing a cover letter in an hour unless I had already written one for a nearly identical job (e.g. in college I applied for economics research assistants at most branches of the U.S. Federal Reserve; the cover letter for the Boston Fed and NY Fed were ~the same).
For a job I really cared about, I think three hours would be about the median if you don’t count all the procrastination because I despise writing cover letters.
I’m *not* claiming this is typical. Just thought it would be useful to make it clear that there’s a *really* wide range in how long job applications take applicants (perhaps depending primarily on level of neuroticism :P).
Ok given multiple people think this is off I have changed it to 3 hours to account for variation in application time.
It came from asking ~4 successful employees who where hired
~1h sounds like the time to make a CV and cover letter personalized for Charity Science starting from an at least semi-relevant CV and cover letter for a previous job application.
My sense is they already had a CV that required very minimal customization and spent almost all the time on the cover letter.
I second Howie’s observation that there is just a really wide range.
Not just depending on neuroticism and other job applications but also writing talent. I expect people from physical sciences to take longer and find it more of a pain. I take between one hour and ninety mins for a cover letter, and I have four CVs that I modify slightly. So I don’t often take more than two hours in total.