Project Description

We’ve all heard about companies losing money due to their slow hiring process, and here we’re going to look into 5 ways that slow hiring might be damaging your business. We don’t want this piece to be all bad news so we’ve also rounded up a few ideas to help speed the process up.

#1 The importance of the final stages

It takes many firms on average between 23 and 36 days to hire a new employee (in our experience, it’s often a great deal longer). Imagine a top sports professional – let’s say Ronaldo – deciding he wants to change teams: how many offers do you think he would receive in 36 days? In the same way, it’s likely that any outstanding potential employee for your firm will also receive and accept a great new offer in a very short time (days and weeks, rather than weeks and months) of entering the jobs market.

This applies equally to passive candidates: they may take longer to decide to join the market but once they do they’re just as likely as active seekers to receive multiple offers in a buoyant market.

Now whilst it’s possible that you will succeed in getting candidates in for initial interviews, as soon as your process starts taking too long they will take up other offers.

Some employers assume that the more time they take to fill a position, the better the final hire will be because they have taken more time to collect information and thoroughly screen candidates. Unfortunately, this theory often doesn’t actually work in practice as the best candidates have already been snapped up.

#2 Loss of revenue and productivity

The actual amount a company can lose due to a slow hiring process will vary depending on the industry, location, sector and the size of the firm. We covered previously how to calculate the loss in our blog ‘The cost of an unfilled vacancy’.

When you consider the cost of a slow hiring process, you need to consider all the relevant costs. In some cases, your current staff will be able to take on additional responsibilities so that you are able to maintain service levels. But, if your team is stretched too thin, quality can suffer to the detriment initially of your clients and consequently to your own business.

Additionally, when other team members have to take on extra responsibilities to cover a vacant position, they can become overworked and eventually fed up. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up with more issues to solve if they opt to seek alternate employment.

#3 Paying more than necessary

If you’re looking to hire senior professionals, the candidates may well have been in their position for some time. In such instances, they may not fully appreciate their true market value as they haven’t been focusing attention on the hiring market.  Leave things too long, therefore, and you might find yourself paying more or in a bidding war with another firm. The shorter the hiring timeframe, the less likely a candidate will have received competing bids.

#4 Your competition gains

It’s a bit of a given but it’s worth mentioning briefly the extent that your competition will gain at your expense. After all, the expertise that your competition is now benefiting from could have been yours.

#5 Employer brand image

Your employer brand image is how employees and other companies view yourself and/or your company in the market.

With specific regard to the hiring process, this is incredibly important for two main reasons:

  • A slow hiring process reflects your business’ values and ethics. People may conclude that it’s probably the same for all of your business decisions and this is the way you usually work. Whether or not this is true, the best candidates will be put off because this goes against what they are looking for
  • Negative feedback on social media concerning how slow a company is can also damage brand image as an employer

What you can do

There are a few simple things that will make a significant difference in a short time:

  • The first thing that has to change is your mentality. If you don’t have a sense of urgency, your hiring process will remain the same. Look at each stage of your process and set realistic timelines. If you have a vacant position, don’t wait for the ideal time to post the vacancy: Do it now, particularly as a work permit is quite likely to be involved. And if you had a period of 4 weeks for your interviews, find ways to reduce this
  • One of the most effective methods to speed up the process is to keep everything streamlined and automated wherever possible. At the same time, be consistent with all of your recruitment communication. While an invitation to an interview should be personalised, you could still use one template for all candidates
  • Make sure your recruitment team or designated recruiter has been properly trained and is organised. Each stage should be well documented and tracked. Keep a record of each time a candidate contacts you and reply as soon as possible. There shouldn’t be excuses for putting off a response. And make sure you are using the candidate’s preferred method of contact to ensure a speedy response

Follow the above steps and you can reduce the risk that slow hiring is damaging your business.


Book a Discovery Call if you’d like assistance or to schedule an introductory call to see how we can help.