Five Reasons Your Business Can't Afford a Slow Hiring Process

The unemployment rate in the U.S. is dropping, but recent studies by Glassdoor and DHI Group show it's taking employers longer to fill open positions than anytime in the past 15 years. Analysts point to many reasons for the hiring slowdown including lack of skilled labor, overwhelming numbers of online applicants (who may or may not be qualified for the position), a push toward group or panel interviews, and time-intensive screening policies. But one thing is clear: A long hiring process doesn't always produce a better candidate. There's the obvious opportunity cost of having a position open, and holding out for the perfect employee can actually be bad for your business in other ways as well. Here's why: 1. The perfect candidate just doesn't exist. I often tell clients the perfect candidates are the ones who find new positions first. Most job descriptions include an organization's dream list of qualifications, but it's seldom realistic to find someone who can check off every box. Instead, I urge clients to prioritize the criteria on the list and go with the candidate who has the key hard skills and would fit well into the organization's culture. 2. Your hesitation is someone else's gain. If an organization isn't ready to hire a solid candidate, someone else will. The current market is in the job seeker's favor and opportunities abound as more companies are expanding their hiring. Take too long to jump and the competition might scoop up someone who could have helped to achieve your objectives. 3. Work productivity suffers. Hiring is hard work - especially for individuals who have other pressing job responsibilities. If the screening and interview process absorbs too much of their time, they'll have less to devote to other projects. Clients who try to manage high-level jobs searches on their own often take six months or more since they're balancing day-to-day management duties with searching for good candidates. 4. Search fatigue sets in. A drawn-out hiring process often leads to "search fatigue," a term I use to describe the energy level individuals want to put toward getting someone hired for their organization. The longer the process goes on, the less enthusiastic they can become - and the more likely they are to settle on an average candidate. 5. Potential candidates lose enthusiasm. Job hunting is emotional for candidates and the deeper they get in the interview process the more excited they become about the possibility of joining your organization. If the process moves too slowly, it's possible they will lose steam and turn their attention elsewhere. The notion that best results only come from taking time to explore all options doesn't apply to today's hiring landscape. If done correctly, faster hiring can still be thorough and effective. It just takes focus and the ability to quickly recognize and sign the right talent fit. Brent is the Chicago Practice Leader, and works with Chicago-based, Cincinnati-based, and national clients. He manages searches in a variety of industries, including consumer products, retail, distribution, manufacturing, and financial services.  Prior to joining the firm, Brent spent 27 years (18 as partner) with Deloitte & Touche in both Chicago and Cincinnati. He retired from his role as a senior client service partner with a focus on Internal Audit, IT Controls, and Risk Management.  Brent received his B.S. in Business from Miami University, and he is also a CPA. 


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