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Are You Taking Too Long to Hire?

The beginning of a new year signals a fresh start for everyone and for some that can mean moving on from their current role for pastures new. It can be an exciting time for a job hunter, but not necessarily an easy one, as the path to a new role can feel like a long one. According to a survey of new workers by Robert Half, 57% of job seekers - that’s six in ten - say it’s a frustratingly long wait after an interview to hear if they will be invited for another round or if they got the job. No problem, if it’s a buyers market right?

However, if you are recruiting in a particularly competitive sector taking your time could cost you the pick of the best candidates. Those candidates with a number of options are likely to choose the company who shows the most interest in them and has an organized recruitment process. Not only do hiring managers who take too long lose prospective hires, but they could also even risk the company’s reputation. 32% of respondents surveyed said that a protracted recruitment process made them question the company’s ability to make other decisions. In other words, they didn’t want to risk their careers being stifled by a slow-moving over-cautious company (continue reading...)

So, how long is too long? Well, it’s surprisingly short. The majority of those surveyed said that if there were more than 7-14 days between the first interview and receiving an offer the process was too long.

Hiring is crucial to a business, so perhaps it’s the risk of making a wrong decision that leads to a long time-frame for some companies. Obviously, there are legitimate reasons why a recruitment process may be lengthy; for example, if you are evaluating a number of candidates simultaneously, but it’s in everyone’s interest that your process is as tight as possible. Here are five tips to help...

  1. Establish all elements of the hiring process in advance. Make sure everyone is agreed on how many interviews are needed and in what format. Remember too, to block out calendars for those on the hiring panel.

  2. Be very clear in advance what the job actually is. Write a job description that everyone relevant has signed off on, or if a job description already exists review it to make sure it still reflects what is needed in the role. Also, decide in advance the criteria for short-listing potential candidates.

  3. Keep lines of communication open throughout the hiring process. Inform your candidates of the hiring process step by step at the end of their first interview so they fully understand what’s going to happen when. If there’s a delay in any part of the process let them know. That way they won’t become disinterested and pursue other opportunities.

  4. Delays sometimes happen when the panel can’t agree on the best person for the role. Holding out for the perfect candidate is a sure-fire way to hold up your decision. Make notes during interviews, and decide on the key skills they must have so you can make an objective, informed decision.

  5. Make the hire! When you’ve decided on the best person for the role make them a verbal offer, pending any references or checks you need to make.

With an organized and streamlined approach, you can make sure you get the pick of the best candidates and avoid costly hiring mistakes.


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