Recent conversations with job seekers has highlighted to me that many organisations are taking an extraordinary length of time to work through the recruitment process. To be specific, they are taking months. And that’s just to organise the first interview! Alarming, I know. If this sounds like you, then you can almost guarantee that your top candidates are no longer available for selection. Why? They have already found their job of choice, or they recognise that your work values do not align with theirs and they withdraw their application. It’s a costly result in more ways than one.

One job seeker explained to me that it had been so long since they had applied for a particular job that they had no recollection of the role when over two months later the would-be employer called to schedule an interview. You see, a lot happens in that space of time. This candidate had completed their course of study, networked their preferred industry and made some beneficial connections that were continuously resulting in consultant work. Needless to say the potential employer was left red faced when asked to explain what they were talking about. Yes that’s right, if you don’t pay your candidates attention they will soon forget who you are.

Another candidate I spoke with patiently listened as an employer explained that while they were an outstanding applicant for their role, they had been unsuccessful on this occasion. Once given the opportunity to respond, the applicant thanked the employer for the opportunity, but they had started a new role weeks previously. It was five weeks before the interview occurred that the job application was submitted and almost two months following the interview before the final verdict was delivered. No quality candidate is going to remain on the market for that long!

If you’re a business operating in a large metropolis, you have the luxury of selecting recruits from an extensive pool of applicants. In fact in this situation it’s likely that candidates will come and go frequently. So you can to an extent cope with the negative effects of a lengthy recruitment process. Yet if your business exists in a regional zone you will not have access to the quantity, nor perhaps the depth of talent that you would if you were located in a capital city. So can you afford to take a tortoise approach when employing? I am aware of a regional organisation that advertised multiple roles in early November. They interviewed some time later, but they are yet to select any candidates. This organisation does not have access to an abundance of well educated, experienced candidates. Consequently, their selection pool has shrunk considerably as the very few quality options have accepted a job opportunity elsewhere. The organisation’s future to advance ahead of its competitors is not looking great. Their competitors on the other hand are likely to be very pleased to snap up such talent.

If you are an organisation that for one reason or another is taking an absurd amount of time to fill a vacant role, you need to consider hiring a specialist recruiter to manage the process for you. In doing so you relieve the internal pressures on staff filling the gaps, you give yourself the opportunity to have the exiting employee train the new recruit, and you avoid the effects of lost productivity. Pretty good incentives to taking a professional approach I would of thought. After all, how you manage the recruitment and selection process reflects upon your reputation with both current and potential employees.

In a nut shell, job seekers are in the market to find a job. Most do not place all their eggs in one basket so if you think you’re not competing for their talent you have your head firmly stuck in the sand. A professional recruiter can speed up the process and in turn help you impress senior personnel with a good and prompt employment decision. With the new year here, it’s a great opportunity to make a new year resolution to reduce the recruitment and selection process time by perhaps thirty percent? Go on, your business will thank you.


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