Lengthy Hiring Process Leads to Disengaged Candidates

As many employers are all too aware, the cost of replacing poor performers can be significant. In fact, it can cost more than a third of the new hire’s salary to replace them due to the time and budget lost through training, onboarding, and resources devoted to the individual.

With the impending risk of such high costs to replace the wrong hire, many employers are taking steps to reform their hiring process in order to find the best candidate. However, due to the complicated nature of such new processes, extensive hiring strategies are having a negative impact on finding and retaining top performers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the time to fill an open position is 76% longer today than it was five or six years ago. For job seekers, this can create a grueling interview process. As employers seek to find the perfect candidate for their positions, candidates are often asked to complete some, if not all, of the following:

 • Traditional interviews
 • Submitting business proposals, presentations
 • Personnel tests
 • Skill and aptitude tests
 • Phone screening
 • Group interviews
 • Personality tests
 • Onsite testing
 • Trial work days
 • Comprehensive reference calls with 3-5 previous employers
 • Hypothetical tasks/problem solving

Because this process can take weeks – or, in some cases, months – to complete, many candidates become disinterested in the role and drop out of the pipeline. While some may await the employer’s call, others continue their job search or take other offers.

In order for employers to find and retain top talent throughout the hiring process, they must keep the ‘time to fill’ metric and its relation to candidate engagement in mind. While it is understandable that employers want and need to fully screen their candidates, a grueling process might cost them the perfect employee, particularly in a market where top performers have more choices.

Nearly half (42%) of candidates experience a lack of communication throughout this process, often going weeks without hearing from the recruiter or HR professional at all. The compromise lies in constant communication with the candidate following such interviews and tests, as well as streamlining the process as much as possible in order to keep top performers interested and engaged.

 

By Marilyn Banes

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