Recruiting is part and parcel of every organisation; therefore, it should be perfected with no glitches. Over the years, the number of days needed to snag a job offer has been increasing exponentially. A study from Glassdoor found the average interview process in the U.S. is now 22.9 days, almost double the 12.6 days in 2010.

Why the long recruitment process?

The war for talent has been heating up, and employers are expected to act faster to secure the best candidates. Talented candidates are in high demand and short supply. Most importantly, they do not like to wait. However, the recruitment process just keeps on getting longer and longer for most companies.

There has been an increase in higher-skilled positions that require more sophisticated and advanced skills.

Some reasons the interview process has become longer are because more employers now have a more comprehensive interview process, which includes various screen methods such as personality tests and group presentations. All these hoops and hurdles for the candidates are used commonly by recruiters, but they also lengthen the recruitment process. Also, there has been an increase in higher-skilled positions that require more sophisticated and advanced skills. This leads to a more careful and precise selection process.

How long is too long?

Nearly 25% of candidates lose interest in the company if they get no answer within a week after the interview. Meanwhile, another 46% of candidates lose interest if there is no status update from one to two weeks after the interview. Most candidates expect the recruitment process to be wrapped up quickly after the interview.

Could artificial intelligence (AI) help you to make your recruitment process more efficient? Download our Definitive Guide to AI in Recruitment to learn about different methods and reasons to use AI in recruitment. What should you do and what should you avoid?

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How does a long recruitment process hurt your company?

First, a lengthy recruitment process results in many candidates losing interest in the job and pursuing other opportunities instead. By the time your company has decided, there is a high chance the candidate has already applied for another job and might have even gotten a response. When this happens, the company must go through another round of selection to find another suitable candidate for the job. At the same time, there is still a vacancy at your company, which leads to low productivity and innovation. Therefore, acting quickly during your recruitment process will give you a competitive edge in securing a suitable candidate for the job.

Second, the recruitment process serves as a window into the overall corporate culture. When your company has a long recruitment process, potential candidates might feel their career potential will be stifled by a slow-moving organisation and withdraw themselves from the job application process. Companies must realise their image as a slow decision maker will cause them to lose many top prospects – this applies to both clients and employees. It is often inferred that a company with a long recruitment process also makes slow business decisions. Candidates might feel that the company lacks innovation and motivation as well. Always remember that first impressions count and you want your company to leave a good first impression on your potential employees.

The longer your company takes to give an offer, the more likely the candidate has already been hired by a competing firm.

Third, as mentioned in the first point, candidates will lose interest in the company after a certain period. Here, we will talk about top talents or rather, in-demand candidates. These candidates may have multiple companies competing for their talents. The longer your company takes to give an offer, the more likely the candidate has already been hired by a competing firm. Even if your company is bigger and better, the top talents will be forced to make a decision between accepting a current offer and waiting for a possible future offer from your company. I am sure we would all choose the first option, unless you are a risk taker.

Last and most importantly, a long recruitment process will damage your employer brand image and the candidate experience. The first problem from this will be having fewer job applicants and even lower quality applications due to a bad employer branding. Slow hiring will often be revealed on social media very quickly and even on sites such as Glassdoor. Nowadays, people are getting more specific, and they even state the number of days a company takes to complete the recruitment process. Therefore, it will hurt your employer brand when potential candidates read about your long recruitment process online. Also, candidates will be more reluctant to apply when they think about the potential negative experience they might face with your company.

It is time to reevaluate your company’s recruitment process and ensure it is never too lengthy! Companies must simply hire fast if they want to secure the best talents out there in the market. We will talk more about ways to shorten your recruitment process next week.


Want to find out more about candidate experience and why it matters? Download our Definitive Guide to Candidate Experience.