How much time is appropriate to review proposals and hire a freelancer? One week? Two weeks? Do those who send proposals have general expectations on when, and if, they hear back from me?
That is up to you.
Experienced freelancers routinely advise bidding freelancers to submit a proposal and then forget about it.
So there really no "expected" length of time.
In my experience it has been a fast paced environment. If I do not hear from the client in max 48h, I will just assume he/she is not interested.
In rare cases I had a replay that would let me know it’s a hiring process that will take some time and I take that into consideration.
But if a client would be interested in a week or 2 after my submission, chances are I will not be available, because I only submit proposals if have the availability also.
And in a 2 weeks’ time a freelancer might take on other jobs. That will change the parameters of the initial proposal; it also depends on the type of the job.
I have done traditional recruiting and the processes are not similar.
I generally agree with Dana and Preston. I send proposals and forget about them. The only real risk a client has in waiting is that my availability may change, and that can pretty dynamic sometimes. Most clients seem to get in touch within a couple of days, but I've had many that contact me after a week or several, which I'm always happy to accommodate if I can.