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Management Skills

3 Practical Solutions for Improving a Long Hiring Process


Feb 18, 2016

Longer Hiring Processes are the New Normal

long hiring processThe hiring process is getting longer. And in a candidate driven market, that’s not a good thing. In fact, MRINetwork, a global recruitment organization, found that in previous years, candidates were offered jobs one to four weeks after first interviewing. Now, they don’t receive job offers for three to six weeks.

Additionally, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that five years ago the average time it took to fill a position was 42 days; whereas, currently it takes an average of 60 days.

To find out why it’s taking so much longer to fill roles, Glassdoor recently interviewed 344,250 people across six countries. Here are some of the key findings:

  • How employers conduct the interviewing and hiring process—group panels, candidate presentations, skills tests, etc.—has a major effect on the time it takes to fill a position.
  • Additional reliance on screening processes—background checks, drug tests and skills tests—has contributed to longer interview times.
  • The job seeker’s characteristics such as gender, age and education have no effect on the length. It’s driven instead by composition of employers, job titles, hiring industries and HR policies.

Why Candidates Decline Offers

Part of the problem with the longer hiring process is that candidates are declining job offers. Staffing provider Express Employment Professionals conducted a survey to find out why people are rejecting job offers.

When asked what hurdles stop applicants from accepting a job, pay/salary was the number one answer. Schedule, hours, advancement opportunity, transportation and boss were the other top answers.

Another survey from CareerBuilders found that the most common reasons candidates decline job offers are:

  • They received an offer from another company
  • The compensation/benefits weren’t what they were expecting
  • They received a counter offer from their current employer

So what can you do to stop your candidates from rejecting your offer during a longer hiring process?

3 Ways You Can Stop Candidates from Rejecting Your Job Offer

Keep in Contact

While speaking with the SHRM, Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group Inc., a South Florida-based training and human resources consulting firm stated, “Candidates want to understand the hiring process and know their status in the process. If a candidate doesn’t know their status, I believe on some level the candidate will assume the worst and look for other opportunities. It’s all about keeping candidates engaged.”

You must keep in contact with candidates throughout the process. That doesn’t mean you need to call them every day, but you do need to communicate with them. A few ways you can do that include letting them know you’ve received their resume, sending a short reply to a thank you email, and notifying them if the deadline on a decision has past that you are still working to come to a consensus.

Make Sure Your Offer is Competitive

Employees care about money. After all, it’s why we all work in the first place. So make sure your offer is the best it can be.

Check to be sure the salary you are offering is within the market rate. And if you can’t offer the highest salary, don’t forget about other types of benefits such as:

  • Flexible scheduling
  • Working from home
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Gym memberships
  • Catered lunches
  • Bonuses
  • Paid parking
  • Vacation time
  • Company-paid holidays
  • Company-paid professional development

Watch Out for Bad Reviews

Sites like Glassdoor and Indeed allow current employees to rate and review your company. And if they are unhappy, they will have no problem posting that for the world to see.

A CNN Money article claims that 72 percent of employees rank "respectful treatment of all employees at all levels" to be the most important factor in job satisfaction. So if a potential employee sees bad reviews from current employees, it’s a huge red flag that they don’t want to accept your job offer.

Take a look at your reviews and if you notice a trend, take steps to change your company culture. For example, if your company has a bad reputation for how it treats women, try implementing discrimination and harassment prevention training.

Or if you have a reputation for regularly keeping employees in the office more than 50 hours a week, think about letting employees work flexible schedules or remotely.

Key Takeaways

The fact is the hiring process is longer than it used to be. That’s not going to change because a major reason is that employers are using more screening processes to evaluate potential candidates.

However, an unintended side effect is candidates rejecting your job offers. But to keep this from happening, you can make sure to keep in contact with candidates, make a competitive offer, and work on creating a positive company culture.

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