The world of job searching is getting tougher for candidates. It is taking employers longer and longer to pull the trigger on new hires. Even great candidates with all the right skills and values are left wondering and waiting by the phone. According to research done by economists Steven J. Davis, Jason Faberman and John Haltiwanger, vacancies are staying open far longer than they used to. In 2009, the average time-to-fill was 15 business days, compared to today’s 23 days. Time to fill is such an important metric in HR and recruiting, so why is this process taking even longer?

They’re Shaking in Their Boots Over Bad Hires

As we steadily pull through the tail end of this recession, a lot of employers are working in fear of bad hires more than they were before the hard times hit. As the recession took hold, companies were conducting mass layoffs and tightening belts whereever cuts could be made. This mentality is holding on strong. The cost of high turnover can end up crippling companies. For small businesses (less than 65 employees) the cost of each turnover is about $8,000. Recruiters and hiring managers are so reluctant to hire quickly because they’re worried about hiring poorly.

Skills vs Openings

It is also theorized that this lengthier hiring process can be attributed to a disconnect of skills between the 4 million job openings vs the 12 million unemployed. Especially in fields that require higher skills there seems to be a gap between demand and skilled candidates. Taking a look at what industries are growing vs the skills of the emerging workforce presents us with one of the attributes of this slowing process. There seem to be too many of the wrong candidates.

What is it Costing HR to Keep them on the Hook?

Advertising the position, background checks, screening and interviewing all take time and money. The internal recruiting time per hire is usually anywhere from 30-100 hours. Multiply that by the hourly rate and that ends up being quite a bit of money. When candidates are now expected to go through multiple rounds of interviews and seemingly pointless tests, this process is taking far longer than it should. With pressure from higher ups to hold off on the hire until the perfect candidate is found, recruiters and hiring managers don’t have much of a choice.

What is This Doing to the Candidate Experience?

With this lengthier hiring process and reluctances to actually hire, candidates are loosing time, money and patience. In this NY Times piece we follow Paul Sullivan, a video editor looking for a new job. During his sixth interview he is actually approached by a security guard who had seen him there so many times that he thought he was an employee who kept forgetting his security badge. Sullivan said, “He couldn’t believe I was actually there for another interview. I couldn’t either! But then I put on a happy face, went upstairs and waited for another round of questions.”

Maren Hogan, HR pro weighs-in on the trials of the hiring process: “Let's just say, burnout is common. But candidate experience is (and always will be) a huge part of the recruiting and retention process. And one of the ways that you can make your candidates' experience really amazing, is to NOT WASTE THEIR TIME!”

Open communication about positions and actual needs with the hiring manager can save everyone a world of wasted time and resources. These lengthier hiring processes aren’t really helping anyone. Candidates and hiring managers alike are becoming more frustrated with this reluctance to pull the trigger.

Check out our main blog here.

photo credit: scragz via photopin cc

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