Recently, I’ve read several articles about the length of recruitment process. According to a recent survey by Robert Half, in the UK, 58% of job seekers are accepting a second choice offer, after waiting too long for a response on their first choice application- a number which increases on a global scale to 68%. That’s 6,120 of the 9,000 people surveyed!!

As an industry, we’re seeing the increasing introduction of more and more technology to assist with the recruitment process, from AI to Robots conducting interviews to webchat and virtual Assessment Centres. Yet, for some reason length of process is still problematic.

There’s no “set” guidance for how long a recruitment process should take but common sense dictates that the process should be engaging, clear and as short as possible, but really no longer than 4 weeks.

It’s a candidate driven market and those with specialist or niche skill sets have more choice than ever, which means that hiring organisations have to work harder than ever to attract, hire and retain the right talent.

So, how can we achieve this?

Planning  - there needs to be an organisational commitment at the point that a role is signed off around timelines; map out the stages of the recruitment process and secure time in Hiring Manager’s diaries for interviews in alignment with the agreed recruitment process.

If you need to define the recruitment process, do this before you begin any candidate engagement. Consider the value of each element: do you really need a five stage process? Can any of the stages be combined or automated? If you’re asking candidates to come to two or three face to face interviews then it’s probably too much!

Communication – your website is the hub of information for your customers, so why not your candidates? Ensure that it is updated to include detail around the recruitment process and possible timelines. Infographics or visual process flows are often a good way to do this without overwhelming applicants.

Think about how you will communicate to people within the recruitment process, how regularly and what feedback you will offer.

The good news is that actually, ensuring a sensible time to hire is actually straightforward with the appropriate up front planning.  Sadly, the damage done to both employer reputation and customer experience can be significant; bear in mind that a negative experience is always more likely to end up on social media, or Glassdoor (according to Glassdoor in 2016, up to 70% of job seekers use the site to inform their career decisions).