Three-quarters of jobseekers would drop out of lengthy recruitment processes, survey reveals

Experts warn many hiring experiences are not up to scratch, but less than one in 10 HR professionals think their procedures are complicated

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More than three-quarters (78 per cent) of jobseekers would drop out or consider dropping out of long or complex recruitment processes, a new study has found. 

A global survey of more than 1,200 HR professionals and more than 3,700 recent jobseekers by Sterling found a third of those who dropped out said the hiring process was too complicated, with 22 per cent expressing an issue with the background screening process.

However, only 9 per cent of the surveyed HR professionals believed that candidates would find their hiring process complicated.

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The data comes as recruitment processes have become longer, with 2017 analysis by Glassdoor showing that, of more than 83,000 job interviews across 25 countries, the average interview process took 23.7 days, up from 22.5 days in 2016.

Steve Smith, president international at Sterling, said the data gathered from this latest survey indicated that a “significant proportion of the candidate community is dropping out of hiring processes due to the complexity of requirements”.

“[This suggests] the experience for the end user isn’t as positive as it could be. In the current economy, it’s simply not a viable option to overlook how important it is to provide an efficient and engaging hiring process for candidates,” Smith added.

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Meanwhile, Gaelle Blake, head of permanent appointments at Hays, said recruiters needed to work quickly to hire talent and shouldn’t delay the interview process: “If you or your recruitment partner has a candidate lined up who you’d like to interview – you need to move quickly.”

Blake advised following a clearly defined interview process and making the candidate aware of each step, including the number of stages and any tasks that they would need to complete. 

She added: “To speed up the process, offer the first interview virtually. Then, once you get to the next stage, make sure you are flexible in offering candidates a good selection of times for a face-to-face interview and be flexible with the location, if possible. Lastly, don’t forget to prepare your offer beforehand, so once you’ve met the right candidate, you can move quickly.”

Sheila Atwood, managing editor of XpertHR, echoed the view that recruiters needed to work quickly to hire talent. She said: “In today’s market, decisions will need to be made quickly and communicated to the candidate as soon as possible. Your time will be best spent on those candidates that want, and fit, your role.

“A well-designed job advert will ensure you get the right people through the door, while showcasing your company culture and brand will help to sell your business to the candidate and keep them engaged during the recruitment process.”