There has been a figure branded recently suggesting it takes an average of 68 days for a company to fill a vacancy. That is a rise of 50% in the last five years. This is quite a considerable increase, and it suggests that employers are being more thorough in finding the perfect candidate. But is this the case in reality, or are there other factors playing a part? It would certainly seem to be a combination of several different factors, based on the scale of the increase over recent years. Some of the potential reasons are discussed below:

Companies making sure the candidate is a perfect fit.

As previously mentioned, the increased hiring time suggests that employers are being more careful when filling their roles. It’s unlikely that it’s taking such a length of time to find any suitable candidates, suggesting many are being rejected. That could be through the unsuitability of their CV, or their performance at interview.

Ensuring the right culture fit is increasingly important for companies, meaning having the necessary skills alone is not enough anymore. A candidate must come across as a good fit alongside the established workforce in place, making it more challenging to receive an offer.

Furthermore, companies are becoming more aware of the need to have a low staff turnover, due to the cost of hiring replacements. As a result, this may also be influencing the decision of employers, as they seek to ensure that a candidate is likely to be committed to them for the long-term.

Lack of suitable candidates on the market.

Another potential explanation for the increased time of hiring could be a lack of quality candidates. There may be plenty of interest in a role, but it doesn’t mean that any of the applicants have the required skillset. A company will only make a hire if a candidate can complete all the tasks expected of the role. If not, they have fallen short of the most basic requirement, meaning they will not be taken forward any further. Consequently, the company will have to return to market in the hope of finding the right candidate. However, this requires more time being spent, and the whole length of the process being extended.

If there are a lack of qualified candidates for specialised positions on the market, then questions should be asked as to why. Is it because there are not enough students learning the skills necessary for certain roles? Or is it due to an ageing workforce? Whatever the reason, solutions need to be found to solve the problem, as it’s resulting in key positions not being filled. What is clear is if this is an issue then changes need to be made. Only then can there be more qualified candidates, resulting in hiring times being reduced.

Numerous interview stages becoming more common.

It is becoming more and more commonplace for several interviews stages to take place to fill a role. In the past it was likely that you would only have to attend one interview before being offered the position. This is not the case for many companies nowadays. For many roles, especially at bigger companies, there can be at least two interview stages, if not more. They would most likely comprise of a phone interview being followed up by a face-to-face. However, there can be further stages added for certain positions being filled. We work with some companies that can hold up to five interviews before an offer is made to a candidate.

A consequence of there being numerous interview stages is that the hiring process is taking longer. This is because there is more time being spent arranging suitable times and dates for interviews to take place. More decisions also have to be made after each stage of the process too. Therefore, the increasing time being spent on hiring should come as no surprise if you consider the work that must be carried out to arrange each stage of the interview process.

Overall, the increasing number of interview stages being utilised to fill vacancies is certainly playing a part in extending the length of the hiring process. However, companies being more selective, coupled with a lack of quality candidates in some industry sectors should not be discounted. It’s likely to be a combination of all three. It may be frustrating for all concerned, but finding the right candidate is what matters. Good things come to those who wait.