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Why a Long Recruiting Process Can Hurt Employers

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Apr 24, 2017 2:30:00 PM

In ICS insights

Being tasked with filling one or more open positions at your company isn't something you should rush through. As many hiring managers can attest, choosing a warm body to fill a role, rather than making a hiring decision on the basis of a thorough and thoughtful evaluation, can leave you with a feeling of "buyer's remorse" and can create problems that go far beyond simply not getting the job done. Hiring the wrong candidate can lead to morale problems, potentially costly errors, and more.

However, employers who take too long to make hiring decisions can find themselves with a different set of problems, not the least of which is the risk of losing the best-qualified candidates to competitors. 

Risks of a Long Recruiting Process 

First, candidates don't like it when hiring decisions take too long. When a candidate has made a decision to find a new job, they want to start that new job as quickly as possible. Even if it's not the case, candidates can feel like their qualifications just didn't measure up when the hiring process drags on for months. When a candidate assumes you're not interested in pursuing them, they'll focus their job search efforts elsewhere. 

So, your risk of losing the best-qualified workers to your competition goes up when you drag your feet on hiring. This risk is multiplied for companies hiring people for high-demand positions or in geographic areas with a tight labor market. 

From a corporate culture standpoint, taking too long to hire replacement workers or staffers to fill a new or emerging need can send your existing employees' morale into a tailspin too. Right or wrong, employees might infer that because you're taking so long to hire people, you aren't really invested in your organization's success. This can lead to decreased motivation and an increase in turnover, which can just exacerbate the problem. 

Mitigating the Risks 

You still need to be thorough and complete, so for some companies, this can seem like a no-win situation. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to address the risk without sacrificing the quality of your candidate search and recruiting decisions: 

  1. Be clear and up front about what you're looking for.

Sometimes, the reason the recruiting process drags on longer than it should is because the hiring managers weren't specific enough up front about the skills and experiences they want candidates to have. Be clear both in the job description and in the process of vetting candidates. That is to say that if you are looking for a very specific skill as a minimum requirement, have that in mind when combing through resumes so you're not wasting time on candidates who don't ultimately meet your needs. 

  1. Be realistic.

It's absolutely okay to come up with an idea of what your ideal candidate's resume looks like, but realize that you may need to be flexible on certain "nice to have" skills in order to fill a position. This is especially true in tight job markets. 

  1. Be ready to hire before you start the process.

In some organizations, there are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to get a job requisition approved. Make sure you've cleared those hurdles before you actually start vetting candidates, so you're not wasting anyone's time. 

  1. Understand that the hiring process is a time commitment for you.

If you don't make the time on your calendar to make the recruiting process a priority, it's unlikely that you'll magically end up with extra time when you can focus on the task at hand. Carve out time in your schedule so you can focus on the task at hand. 

  1. Communication is key.

Communicate with your candidates periodically to let them know where you are in the process. This type of "touch" from an organization may help keep a candidate from assuming you're not interested in hiring them. 

ICS Can Help 

When you try to go it alone to fill open positions, you'll likely have several different competing priorities on your plate. This can lead to inadvertent delays in the recruiting process. ICS is here to help. With offices in cities like Denver, Fort Lauderdale, New York and D.C., we are well-positioned to help employers across the country with sourcing, screening and hiring candidates, as well as providing payroll solutions. 

We can help you find qualified candidates without the unnecessary drag of the hiring process. Find talent now with ICS.